It’s Chinese New Year of the Horse

By Issy January 31, 2014

All over the world today, Chinese people will be greeting one another with the phrase “Kung Hey Fat Choy!”, which means “Happy New Year, best wishes and may you prosper”.

Find out some of the myths and legends around the 12 Chinese calendar animal signs here.

street red lanterns chinese new year
Lanterns are festooned in China Town’s all over the world at this time of year

Known in China as The Spring Festival, celebrating the start of new life, the Chinese New Year starts (always in either late January or early February) on the first day of the lunar month and continues until the 15th, when the moon is brightest.

In 2014 the snake gives way to the horse – so to all of you who were born in the years 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990 and 2002, this is your year!

New Year Horse red background chooyutshing Flickr 650 x 300

Horse personalities are said to be particularly active and energetic people. In the world of experiences, land loving horses are likely to love our Full Monty Tank Driving, water seeking steeds can speed on a Honda Powerboat and ponies with wings go fly high in a helicopter. Quick of mind as well as body, the cunning horse often thinks what others are thinking, first.

Born to race or to travel, the horse is often considered by others often to be proud and arrogant (they ultimately rely on their own labour and wit to get by). They are also very sweet natured, modest and tolerant with a strong need to belong.

4 horses with guitars BoogaFrito Flickr

During the horse year, patience, quiet and restrain of the natural competitive spirit is advised. Horses should react with grace and thought to any challenging energy (particularly around the home and the office environment). In love, opportunities will present themselves to single horses.

Chinese horoscope x 1 650 x 300

There are 12 animals in the Chinese calendar – the dog, pig, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, and rooster. According to Chinese legend, people born in each animal’s year inherit distinctive characteristics of that animal.

Chinese horoscope x 2 650 x 300

One legend says that Buddha promised gifts to all animals to pay him homage. Only 12 animals came to him so, to favour these few, each one was given one of the 12 years of the Chinese zodiac.

Another claims that 12 animals quarrelled as to who should head the cycle of years. The gods decided they must hold a contest. Whichever animal was the first to reach the opposite bank of the river would win. The rest of the animals would receive their years according to their finish.

Rat Ox Pig collage
12 animals race – the rat came in first, off the back of the ox, in second. The pig was last.

All 12 gathered at the river bank and jumped in. Unknown to the ox, the rat had jumped upon his back. As the ox was about to jump ashore, the rat jumped off the ox’s back, and won the race. The pig was the laziest and therefore ended up last. That is why it is said that the rat is the first year of the animal cycle, the ox second, and the pig comes at the end.

white horse equessaquagrl Flickr 650 x 300

We hope we have enlightened you on the diverse range of animals that make up the Chinese zodiac signs, especially the horse.

Whether you’re a fan of A P McCoy and love horse racing, or you simply have a healthy respect for these regal animals and would like to get more closely acquainted, check out our great range of horse riding, racing, jousting, polo, carriage driving, cowboy trailing or even tips from a top racehorse trainer

Which is your Chinese zodiac animal sign?

Images lydia_shiningbrightlybradlauster,

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