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About The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 16, 2015)
Lunar New Year
February 16, 2015
THE ASIAN REPORTER n Page 11
Happy Lunar New Year!
Celebrating the Sheep
THE YEAR OF THE WOOD SHEEP. A woman poses for a photograph amongst decorations in cele-
bration of the upcoming Lunar New Year in Hong Kong. The Lunar New Year, which begins February 19, marks
the Year of the Wood Sheep. People born under the sign of the Sheep are generally considered to be organized,
honest individuals who are creative, empathetic, and easygoing. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
What sign are you?
Find the year you were born. Those born in
January or February should consult page 18.
1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 — Rat
1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 — Ox
1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010 — Tiger
1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011 — Rabbit
1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012 — Dragon
1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013 — Snake
1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014 — Horse
1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015 — Sheep
1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016 — Monkey
1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017 — Rooster
1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018 — Dog
1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019 — Pig
The Gregorian and Chinese lunar calendars
February 19, 2015
February 8, 2016
January 28, 2017
February 16, 2018
February 5, 2019
January 25, 2020
February 12, 2021
February 1, 2022
January 22, 2023
February 10, 2024
January 29, 2025
February 17, 2026
A few animal characteristics
Rat: Honest, idealistic, practical, sentimental, argumentative, greedy
Ox: Careful, diligent, eloquent, patient, eccentric, stubborn
Tiger: Ambitious, dynamic, honorable, loyal, critical, impatient
Rabbit: Artistic, considerate, intelligent, peaceful, hesitant, judgemental
Dragon: Energetic, faithful, generous, sincere, defensive, opinionated
Snake: Charitable, elegant, organized, reflective, anxious, possessive
Horse: Calm, confident, independent, talented, contradictory, moody
Sheep: Adaptive, creative, empathetic, polite, impractical, pessimistic
Monkey: Charming, sensitive, vivacious, wise, cunning, selfish
Rooster: Adventurous, courageous, funny, hardworking, cynical, vain
Dog: Brave, devoted, knowledgeable, trustworthy, disagreeable, strict
Pig: Affectionate, cheerful, obliging, optimistic, naïve, snobbish
Read your forecast for the Year of the Sheep!
Horoscopes by Madame Mingmei begin on page 13.
The Year of the Sheep makes its woolly
debut on February 19, 2015, and its arrival
will be feted by Asian nations such as
China, Korea, Nepal, India, and Iran, as
well as in western cultures and elsewhere.
As with many traditions, the Lunar New
Year observation dates back to an ancient
legend: China’s Jade Emperor scheduled a
race for 12 animals in the kingdom, with
their finishing placement determining
their order in the calendar. The Sheep
came in eighth, having been beaten by the
Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the
Dragon, the Snake, and the Horse, but
finishing before four other animals. In
2015 we celebrate the empathetic and
The Lunar New Year has many names
among the countries in which it is
observed. Tet Nguyen Dan is how the
holiday is known in Vietnam, while in
Thailand the celebration — taking place in
April — is called Songkran. Those in Korea
observe Sol and Cambodia commemorates
Chaul Chnam Thmey. China’s fete, Chuen
Jie (the Spring Festival), begins with the
New Year and continues for 15 days with
families and friends coming together to
wish one another happiness and pay
respects to ancestors.
Considered by many to be the oldest
calendar system in the world, the Chinese
lunar calendar traces its origin back as far
as 2637 B.C.E. Each year is represented by
one of the 12 animals of the zodiac: Rat, Ox,
Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse,
Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
Every culture has different traditions,
and in the case of the lunar calendar, the
animals that populate the yearly cycles
sometime differ. For example, in the
Tibetan cycle, the Rat is instead called the
Mouse, the Rabbit is the Hare, and the
Rooster is the Bird. In the Vietnamese
tradition, the Rabbit is referred to as the
Cat, the Sheep as Ram, and the Rooster as
Cock. In some traditions, the Sheep is also
represented by the Goat.
Every 12 years, each animal returns, but
in a different incarnation based on one of
five elements — metal, water, wood, fire,
and earth. For example, this year is the
Year of the Wood Sheep, which was last
celebrated 60 years ago in 1955. After this
year, the Wood Sheep will not make
another appearance until 2075.
According to Chinese astrology, people
born in the Year of the Sheep (1907, 1919,
1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003,
2015) are known for their wisdom,
generosity, cheerfulness, and sensitivity.
They are imaginative and enjoy art and
music. Sheep, including Wood Sheep born
between February 19, 2015 and February
7, 2016, are peaceful and gentle and dislike
conflict. They are readily adaptable and
creative, but they also tend to be indecisive
and worry too much.
New Year traditions
For many cultures, the arrival of the
New Year marks a spiritual time in which
celebrants give thanks at temples and
pray for a year’s good luck. Another widely
practiced tradition involves sweeping
homes clean of evil spirits by literally
cleaning and sweeping dwellings of dirt
and dust. In addition, new clothing is often
purchased in commemoration of the New
The Spring Festival in China ushers in
the country’s busiest travel season, as
families journey great distances, often by
train, to reunite with loved ones. In the
Thai festival, Rohd Nam Songkran,
revellers get wet and wild by dowsing one
another with water to bring rain in the
Worldwide celebrations also bring out
various culinary traditions. Many in Korea
spend their day preparing traditional
foods to share with family and friends.
Chinese eat dumplings and rice cakes in
celebration of the Lunar New Year,
Vietnamese dine on a kind of rice cake
called banh trung, and those in Korea
savor a rice cake soup called duk-kuk.
Children celebrating the arrival of the
Lunar New Year are greeted with many
treats. In China and Vietnam, youngsters
receive special red envelopes containing
New Year’s money (in China, the
envelopes are called hong bao). Korean
children bow to their parents and
grandparents and, in return, receive
freshly minted money, though not in red
During the next Lunar New Year, the
Year of the Fire Monkey will come
swinging in, lasting from February 8, 2016
to January 27, 2017.
The Year of the Sheep
The Sheep is the eighth animal of the lunar zodiac. The Sheep typically
symbolizes faithfulness and devotion. Those born under the sign of the Sheep are
generally considered to be kind-hearted, honest individuals who are loyal and
sincere. They tend to be very creative people.
Sheep born between February 19, 2015 and February 7, 2016 are Wood Sheep.
The wood element amps up the artistry and innovation of these sheep, allowing
them to excel in the creative arts. Wood sheep are very empathetic and kind,
which can sometimes lead to others taking advantage of their giving natures.
Year of the Sheep: February 19, 2015 to February 7, 2016
Chinese Calendar Year: 4713
Sheep Years: 1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
Characteristics: Those born in the Year of the Sheep value peace and beauty.
They avoid rocking the boat and prefer others make the tough decisions. Sheep
make excellent team members and are often deeply spiritual.
Best careers: Sheep people’s talent and creativity enable them to be good enter-
tainers, artists, novelists, and musicians.
Compatible signs: Rabbit, Horse, Pig
Lucky numbers: 3, 4, 9
Born in the Year of the Sheep: Chow Yun-Fat, Yo-Yo Ma, Akira Toriyama,
Akshay Kumar, Zhao Zizang, Michelangelo, Orville Wright, Julia Roberts,
Mikhail Gorbachev, Leonard Nimoy, Bill Gates.