Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Year of the Horse Defined

Straight from the Horse's Heart

by R.T. Fitch ~co-founder/president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Year of the Horse has yet to Begin

2014-year-of-the-horseIt’s “Feel Good Sunday” and the holidays are over, maybe to the relief of some and the disappointment of others, but we are going to take a few moments and define what the ‘Year of the Horse’ REALLY means in the Chinese culture.
Over the past several days we have had a few ‘commenters” who have overstepped their freely allowed bounds and have attacked, in text, 1.3 billion Chinese citizens for the actions of a few.  We will attempt to rectify that closed mindedness and those insults with a look at a culture that has been around for thousands of years longer than our European lineage. 
The United States, Europe, the Americas, Africa, Australia and Asia all have issues with the humane treatment of not only animals but people.  Today, we take a look at a 5,000 year old culture that will, this year, celebrate the horse.
Chinese New Year, also known as known as Spring Festival, will not occur until Jan. 31, 2014.  The event is celebrated on a different day each year since the Chinese calendaris lunisolar — taking into account both the earth and moon’s movement.
In China, the holiday is the most important social and economic event of the year– traditionally linked to honoring the household, heavenly gods and ancestors. Today, China celebrates Jan. 1 as New Year’s Day, but the country continues to mark the Spring Festival as a time to spend with family and relax from work.
Typically the holiday begins on New Year’s Eve (according to the Chinese calendar) and lasts for 15 days. Families tend to clean their homes in the days leading up to the celebration but all dusts and brooms are hidden during holiday so that “good luck can not be swept away.” The holiday itself is usually spent with family, shopping, watching fireworks and in some cases – a religious ceremony honoring heaven, earth and other deities.
Each year corresponds to a different zodiac sign and animal. The Chinese zodiacconsists of 12 animals that denote a person’s birth known as shengxiao: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each of the animals is named after one favored by the Buddha and is said to influence an individual’s personality.
In 2014, it will be the year of the Horse. Known as Wu, those born during the year of the Horse tend to be clever, possess good communication skills, are cheerful and stubborn. In 2014, they are expected to have a good year and are advised to be quiet and patient. Other predications call for people to make the most out of given opportunities, expect good health and a year where romance and career will be in harmony.
For equine advocates the Year of the Horse is the year that horse slaughter will forever be shuttered in the United States and the special interest, horse destructive BLM will be brought to it’s knees ensuring the future welfare, safety and security of America’s national icon will be alive and living free for generations to come.
2014 promises to be a very good year.

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