Happy New Year –Chinese Style! Although the Chinese New Year doesn’t officially begin until February 19, many people start thinking of the animal sign on the first of the New Year. [And much of Asia, including Japan, does not wait until Feb 19. Many now celebrate during the first two weeks of January.]
According to Chinese Buddhism, before the Buddha entered Nirvana only twelve animals came to pay homage. So, the Buddha honored them by naming a twelve-year cycle (=zodiac) after them. The sheep, the eighth animal in line to honor the Buddha, is recognized as a lucky animal with an artistic nature. Lucky because it doesn’t have to do farm work, sheep have freedom to look for any kind of grass without ever worrying about running out of food. Consequently, Chinese treat sheep as an auspicious animal sign.
2015 is an exciting year and the Year of the Sheep is a highly creative period where people may express their artistic natures and find great pleasure in simply following their heart’s desire. Also associated with a feeling of peace and contentment, world conflicts and political upheavals are predicted as less likely to become explosive globally as they did in 2014. Special interest in education as a way towards international peace and global prosperity will also be in sharp focus. Generally, the pace of life slows down a bit, and people become more caring. Volunteer work to help those less fortunate is highly recommended.
If the Chinese zodiac proves predictive, the year of 2015 will be a crucial one in which a highly volatile era is slowly losing its force and will be replaced by one that has high hopes for the future. According to the Chinese astrology, the Year of the Sheep encompasses many favorable planetary aspects we simply cannot ignore! Go create art and help others this year! Happy New Year!