Translation Musings: Happy Chinese New Year!

Jan 31, 2014 | World events

chinese lanternToday sees the start of a 15-day celebration marking the end of the Year of the Water Snake and the beginning of the Year of the Wooden Horse in the Chinese calendar.

Shēngxiào, the Chinese zodiac, originates from the Han dynasty (206-220BC). It operates around a 12-year cycle, with each year represented by an animal: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.  The universe is also thought to be made up of the five elements earth, water, fire, wood and metal, which interact with the animal to create a very specific character. 2014 is the first year of the wooden horse in 60 years.

So how will the horse affect the year ahead? According to some, it is not a good year for negotiation, rather it will be a fast year with lots of conflicts – the wood adding fuel to the energetic horse.

For horse people, myself included, it could be a tricky year (oh good) as we will be encountering our Year of Birth (Benming Nian) – so we need to be careful not to offend the God in charge of our fortune. We are, apparently, energetic, bright and intelligent, cheerful, popular, talented and have excellent communications skills (of course!). Well, I think that describes me very well (winky face!). On the downside, we’re bad at managing our finances (as if!), impatient and hot-blooded. I couldn’t possibly comment on that.

Anyway, we’re all off to celebrate tonight – hope you are too. Happy New Year! 


image credit: dcubillas @ stock.xchng