The Chinese lunar calendar is associated with the Chinese zodiac (shēng xiāo in ping-yin) that has 12 natural animal signs: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, Rooster, dog, and pig, occupying an important part of Chinese traditional cultures. Zodiac is used for counting years and ages in ancient china and now has developed into a custom for destiny attribution. Each animal repsents a year in a rotating 12-year cycle, beginning on Chinese New Year's Day. 2015 is a year of the goat.
The Goat is the eighth sign of the 12-year cycle of animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. People who are born in the Year of Goat are considered in the auspicious year in 2015.
The original story of the Year of Goat
In ancient time, there was no grain on the earth, people were eating plants and vegetables that made them undernourished and emaciated.
In autumn, an immortal goat that was coming from the welkin, passed the earth and found that people were all in sallow complexion, without knowing any knowledge about grains. The kind-hearted goat promised human to bring cereals seeds to the earth. The goat went back to the welkin to ask for the cereals but was refused by the Jade Emperor who was closefisted to share the abundant food with the human beings. On the still night when every god was sleeping, the goat went into the emperor’s field furtively to steal five kinds of grains (rice, wheat, bean, cotton and chestnut) and went to the earth.
In the next autumn, people harvested lots of food after the goat taught people how to plant these grains. The grains looked like the goat’s tail. The grains were delicious after cooking and the cotton made people warm. People made a festivity to appciate the goat’s attributing, the fire of which alarmed the Jade Emperor. The Jade Emperor was exasperated and killed the goat, commanding human beings to eat the goat’s meat.
Some unnatural things happened the next year. People saw the green grass growing at the place which the goat was killed, and then a goat turned up. The goat passed down generations, eating the grass, continuing to attribute everything to human beings. People were very grateful so they held festivities every year to commemorate the goat.
When people heard that the Jade Emperor wanted to choose 12animals to be the zodiac signs, they all voted the goat. Although the Jade Emperor was not agreed, he couldn’t resist all human beings, which was the reason of goat being one of the zodiac signs now.
The personality of people who were born in the Year of Goat
People born in the Year of Goat love to be in groups, but don’t want to be the leaders of attention. They are mild mannered, pessimistic, shy, and sympathetic and like to spend time in their own thoughts. They are more comfortable when left alone or stay at home. Personality traits, such as creativity, dependability, intelligence, and calmness, make them very charming to be with.
Some expssions about goat
【挂羊头卖狗肉】 guà yang tóu mài gǒu ròu
Hang up sheep’s head and sell dog’s meat—try to palm off something, inferior to what it purports to be.
【亡羊补牢】 wáng yang bǔ láo
It not too late to mend the fold even after some sheep have been lost.
【羊毛出在羊身上】yáng máo chū zài yang shēn shàng
After all, the wool steal comes from the sheep’s back. It means in the long run, whatever you are given was you paid.
【顺手牵羊】shùn shǒu qiān yáng
Descriptive of appropriating such things as come within one's reach, as one goes about one's way.
【羊落虎口】 yáng luò hǔ kǒu
The sheep falls into a tiger's mouth -- to be in a hopeless situation
Tag:元旦,羊年，生肖，邮票 New Year, the Year of Goat, Chinese zodiac, the stamps of goat