As of Friday, the Year of the Horse has entered the world in a celebration of fireworks and festivities for lunar year 4712, 4711 or 4651 depending on when various scholars start counting… (don’t ask)
So, what does it mean?
According to them the horse is ruled by the element of fire and 2014 is the year of the wooden horse. so it contains a great deal of fire and wood energy. This results in, “…conflicts and disasters related to fire but strong gains in stocks linked to wood, the year’s two dominant elements, say Hong Kong’s practitioners of the ancient art of feng shui.”
Because the conflict generated by fire energy is made stronger by the wood element (fire feeds on wood) the year of the wooden horse, which comes around every 60 years, has a history of warfare. Li quotes Raymond Lo, a feng shui practitioner with over 20 years experience: “The upcoming Horse year is also a ‘yang wood’ year, when people will stick more to their principles and stand firm. So it is hard to negotiate or compromise as there are more tendencies for people to fight for their ideals.”
Frances Perraudin of The Guardian takes a more light-hearted look in “Chinese new year 2014: Eight things you (probably) didn’t know about the year of the horse.”
Among other things she notes that:
“2) People born in the year of the horse are said to be a bit like horses: animated, active and energetic – they love being in a crowd. They are quick to learn independence – foals can walk minutes after birth – and they have a straightforward and positive attitude towards life. They are known for their communication skills and are exceedingly witty.”
Unfortunately however, the Year of the Horse is not particularly good for Horse people (Born in 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966. 1954, 1942 etc.):
“5) According to superstition, in your zodiac year you will offend Tai Sui, the god of age, and will experience bad luck for the whole year. To avoid this you should wear something red, which has been given to you by someone else. In general, the lucky colours of team horse are are green, red and purple; the lucky numbers are three, four and nine, and the lucky flowers are giant taro and jasmine.”
Still those born in the horse year are in a good herd:
“7) If you were born in the year of the horse, you’re in good company. Fellow members of the horse club include Genghis Khan, Mongol ruler; Franklin D Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the US; Louis Pasteur, a 19th-century scientist; Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon; the American singer Aretha Franklin; and the model Cindy Crawford.”
For the rest of the list as well as a great video on the horses of Iceland that was apparently just added on for the heck of it, click here.
Finally for an interesting look at the way the horse has been depicted in Chinese Art, read Art & about: Capturing the equine spirit by Lucien De Guise in New Straits Times.
“The horse’s importance in China increased when generals worked out that these quadrupeds needed riders rather than chariots if the barbarian hordes were to be kept outside their borders. Depictions of noble steeds began to proliferate, mainly in bronze and then in jade. The jade versions are more like beasts of burden than the spirited bronzes, allowing space for clay to come in and represent the fluid, fiery nature of the horse.”
Kung hei fat choy!