#AceChinaNews says `The Chinese Calendar 2014′ and this year is the `Chinese Year of the Horse’
Unlike western calendars, the Chinese calendar has names that are repeated every 60 years. Within the ‘Stem-Branch’ system is shorter cycle of 12 years denoted by animals:
2014 is the year of the Horse. It is the jiăwŭ (甲午) year (Wooden Horse). Ji is the first of the ten celestial stems and ăwŭ (Horse) is the seventh of the twelve terrestrial branches and thus 1/7 marks the year of the Horse.
Rat Ox Tiger Rabbit Dragon Snake Horse Sheep Monkey Rooster Dog Pig
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2007
Calculating ‘When is the Chinese New Year in 2014′
The fact that the date of Chinese New Year varies within about a month is a clue that it’s linked to the new moon. A rough, and almost infallible guide is that the Chinese New Year follows the second new moon after the winter solstice. The winter solstice falls on December 21st, the next new moon is on January 1st 2014, and the second new moon is on January 30th 2014.
Will and Guy admit that the precise rules for determining ‘When is the Chinese New Year’, are far more complex. For example, one problem with any lunar calendar system is that some years there are 13 new moons. The Chinese deal with this by slotting in an extra intercalary month.
Horses are popular, quick-witted, charming, cheerful, and talented.
People born in the Year of the Horse are popular. They are cheerful, skilful with money, and perceptive, although they sometimes talk too much.
They are wise, talented, good with their hands, and sometimes have a weakness for members of the opposite sex.
They are impatient and hot-blooded about everything except their daily work. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are very independent and rarely listen to advice.
They are most compatible with Tigers, Dogs, and Sheep.
Astrologically, the horse is placed directly opposite the rat. The rat is the creator and the horse is the “consumer.”
Therefore a horse year may be marked by an increase in business and commercial activity, particularly those involved with non-essentials like luxury cars, high fashion, alcoholic beverages, athletics, and anything “male” oriented.
Unfortunately, it is often a year of waste. A household should be careful to make sure they don’t overspend their budgets during a horse year.
Chinese Horse Folk Tales
As in most Chinese Stories there is a moral hidden within them; these examples are no exception to that rule.
An Old Man’s Wisdom – A Blessing in Disguise
Once upon a time in Chinese myths, there was a wise old man who lived in the steppes. He owned many horses. One evening, after a long day of working in the fields, he came home to discover that one of his horses, a mare, had run off. His family and his neighbours searched the surrounding area. When they finally gave up, they sent him their condolences, ‘We are sorry that this unfortunate incident happened to you.’
The old man of the steppes remarked calmly, ‘The loss of my mare is not necessarily a bad thing. All will be shown for its true worth in time.’
The next morning, the old man of the steppes looked up in the horizon and saw two horses coming towards his house. The first horse was his mare that had run off, and the other was a stallion following the mare. Even from a distance, he could see that this stallion was a war-horse of great stature and worth. He quickly inquired at the county office whether anyone had reported the loss of their stallion.
The county magistrate advised him to keep the horse until someone had reported it missing. That evening, the old man’s family and his neighbours celebrated the return of his mare as well as his newly acquired stallion. At the celebration, he was called upon to make a speech. The old man of the steppes stood up and remarked calmly, ‘The acquisition of this stallion is not necessarily a good thing. All will be shown for its true worth in time.’
Chinese myths say that a week later, the old man’s son took the stallion out for a ride. Not being skilled in manoeuvring a great war-horse, the boy suffered a terrible fall. As a result, his leg was broken. The old man’s family and his neighbours crowded around the boy and commented, ‘This is an awful thing that has happened. This stallion has brought bad luck to the family.’
The old man of the steppes stood by the boy and remarked calmly, ‘This accident is not necessarily a bad thing. All will be shown for its true worth in time.’
Sometime later, the kingdom was involved in a cruel and unjust war with a neighbouring kingdom. All the young men of the kingdom were called upon to enlist in the army. The old man’s neighbours lamented as all their sons were called off to fight in the war. It was impossible to escape the draft as the enlisting officers moved from county to county and house to house in search of all the young men. Inevitably, they finally came upon the old man’s house.
Seeing the stallion in the yard, they remarked to themselves, ‘This must be the home of a great warrior. But why has this coward not gone off to war? We must seize him at once.’
When they searched the house, they found only the old man of the steppes, his wife and their crippled son.
The enlisting officers then remarked, ‘This young man would have been a fine soldier if it were not for his broken leg. We cannot take him with us.’ And thus, their son was exempted from fighting in the war.
The old man’s neighbours, observing with amazement the declared, ‘What wisdom this old man has, that he can foresee both good and bad incidences for what they are truly worth.’
More Stories For the Chinese New Year 2014
Buying a Good Horse
There was an Emperor who was willing to pay a thousand pieces of gold for a horse that could run a thousand mile without stopping. For three years he tried in vain to find such a steed.
Then Chenglei offered, ‘Let me look for a horse My Lord.’
The Emperor agreed to this.
After three months Chenglei came back, having spent five hundred pieces of gold on a horse’s skull.
The Emperor became enraged. ‘I want a live horse.’ he roared. ‘What use is a dead horse to me? Why spend five hundred pieces of gold on nothing?’
Chenglei replied philosophically, ‘If you will spend five hundred pieces of gold on a dead horse, won’t you give much more for a live one? When people hear of this, they will know you are really willing to pay for a good horse, and will quickly send you their best.
Sure enough, in less than a year the Emperor succeeded in buying three excellent horses.
Chinese Horse Sausage
A 213 metre long and weighing some 1,256-kilogram horse casing sausage is dried in Yining of Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
Photos – Xinhua
A Kazak horse meat butcher made the sausage with casings from 30 horses and thigh meat from another eight 5-year-old horses.
Did You Know? Horse Trivia and China
- The record for most runners in a horse race is 228 set in Bayanwula, Xiwuzhumuqinqi, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China on 25th July 2005.
- The White Horse Temple [Baima Si] in Luoyang, Henan Province, was the first Buddhist temple in China, established by Emperor Mingdi in the year 68 AD. The historic, leafy site features several ancient buildings.
- The Terracotta Army or the “Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses”, is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the First China. The figures, dating from 210 BC, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers in Lintong District, Xi’an, Shaanxi province.
- Xian Cavalryman of the Terracotta Army.
- Four bronze horses with chariot. Representing part of the Emperor’s army