In China, celebrations are underway to herald in the New Year, but astrologers are warning those people born under the sign of the horse to take caution and beware of making big plans this year. For everyone else the forecast for the year is one of prosperity and health. It is said to be an excellent time to travel and experience new things, although anyone planning a trip would do well to avoid any Chinese stopovers as airports, trains and buses into mainland China will be swamped with visitors.
Chinese New Year celebrations run for up to 15 days with festivities focussed on food, family and fortune. Families will be gathering tonight for a New Year’s Eve dinner at home with traditional food such as fish and dumplings. Fireworks will be rife throughout the celebrations as they are seen as driving away evil spirits to begin the New Year with good luck. There will also be red envelopes distributed with phrases for prosperity in gold on the outside and crisp new money within. Markets are set up on New Year’s day selling food, decorations, clothing and fireworks. These markets are always garlanded with red lanterns.
Those born under the sign of the horse are said to be full of energy and intelligence with excellent communication skills and a love of the limelight. They are talented with a sunny outlook and a love of entertaining. Horse people love to be successful and do not suffer failure well. However, in Chinese tradition those born under the same sign as the New Year are in for a difficult time. This is because the position of the sign has moved to the top of the chart, close to the head of the ruling god. This signifies clash with the god, so it s better to give way and let the year pass in peace. As such horse people should beware of making any large plans like marriage or other major changes in their lives. But they are free to attend a lot of other weddings and celebrations as well travelling and keeping happy.
The cycle of the Chinese New Year signs differ from the Western zodiac tradition. There are 12 signs, like the zodiac, but the signs do not match up with their Western counterparts as the Chinese base them on the lunar year. Thus the end of the year is based on lunar cycles which can fluctuate. Each sign is designated by an animal. Thus the successive years will follow as: horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, pig, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon and snake. Each animal has an associated element such as fire, water, metal or wood. The elements and signs shift together in cycles of 60 years. Thus someone born in 1978 would be classified as an earth horse, whereas a child born after the 31st of January this year becomes a wooden horse. Those under the sign of the horse would have been born in 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 and 2014.
So people born under the sign of the horse do not need to shy away from celebrating the Chinese New Year with everyone else, just as long as they be wary to keep lavish plans until the safer waters of the following year when they will be free of the wrath of the god. As for everyone else, Happy Chinese New Year!
By Sara Watson