Gung Hay Fat Choy! Year of the Horse

If you have been less than successful with your New Year’s resolutions, have no fear: The Chinese New Year coming up is the perfect excuse to re-set them.

The traditions and superstitions surrounding the lunar based Chinese New Year are based on defending oneself from the ‘Nian’ (a boogeyman of sorts). Lots of noise, colour and food seem to keep it at bay, along with the famous dancing lions and dragons, who are used for intimidation.

Red is the predominant colour seen. It is considered to be very lucky and used as protection from negative energies and to grant good fortune.

Lucky red lanterns in Dr. Sun Yat -Sen Gardens. Vancouver, Canada

Lucky red lanterns in Dr. Sun Yat -Sen Gardens. Vancouver, Canada

Another way to fend off bad luck is to do a thorough house cleaning just before the New Year. ( I’m hoping this one is a myth as the chances of me doing this are slim.) During the New Year celebrations however, (which traditionally last 15 days) you will want to leave the broom in it’s place; you don’t want to risk sweeping or washing away any good luck.

At first, when I received this Chinese fortune, I thought that whoever wrote it had a very mixed-up idea about how to pamper themselves. Then I looked closer and saw that it was not me I was supposed to spoil, so I whipped up some Lucky Charms for my Leprechaun.

At first, when I received this Chinese fortune I thought that whoever wrote it had a very mixed up idea about how to pamper themselves. Then I looked closer and saw that it was not me I was supposed to spoil, so I whipped up some Lucky Charms for my Leprechaun.

This New Year in particular is exciting because my birth year animal is the shining star. And it’s good news for impulsive, spirited travelers too.

The year of the Horse begins at 11: 20 pm (PST) on January 30th. To be specific, 2014 is the year of the Green Wood Horse and starts off with a new moon to boot! Apart from the 12 animals used in the Chinese Zodiac, there are also five elements that contain their own ‘chi’ (life force): Water, earth, fire, wood, and metal. This year the element is wood. Wood relates to trees, which are green, which makes 2014 the year of the Green Wood Horse.



What does this mean? Well, according to the Chinese zodiac, this year is one that promises to be full of adventure, quick victories and unexpected romances.

It is a time for rapid and bold changes. If you have been chomping at the bit to get out there and explore more, this might be the time to do it. Unexpected adventure, travel-off the beaten path, and frisky rendezvous are likely for the Year of the Horse.

Energy is high, and decisive and impulsive endeavors are possible. If you are not sure about something, try not to over think it. That is not the mustang way. Instead, use your instinct and intuition. This year is all about relying on your ‘horse sense’. If something feels right, do it. If it feels wrong, its ok to be skittish and balk away from it.

Horses are content with the simple things: fresh air, clean food and lots of space to roam around in. This year is said to be a good one to pare down and de-clutter your life; and to enjoy the outdoors more.

If you happen to have been born in the year of the horse (like me) then you might be interested in knowing more about the personality traits believed to define someone born under this sign. If you were born in any of these years, then you, of course, are a horse (depending on your birth month): 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

Me with some of my fellow horses. I'm the human one in the middle,

Me with some of my fellow horses. I’m the human one in the middle.

Think of the characteristics of a horse: playful, free, intuitive, instinctual, can think on their feet, independent, likes to roam, sometimes is hard to tame-these are all traits that the Chinese zodiac believes horse people have. We are generally very free spirited, and always yearning to be on the move. We tend to be passionate and open to new experiences with a wide variety of interests. Like a horse, we can provide a strong back for those who need us, and are extremely loyal to those we love. We are a enigmas, in that we are quite contradictory. We crave deep connection and the space to wander simultaneously.


Every animal has it’s negative qualities too.

Sometimes us ponies can be real nags. We can be impatient, stubborn, moody, and change focus often. We are said to be clever, but at times, because we are a bit hot blooded, our wit can be used in a biting way. (For those of you reading this who know me personally,and are shocked at the accuracy: I am not making this up…this is what it really says about horse people!)

Some claim that the worst trait of all is that horse people cannot recognize their own weaknesses. (I can attest to this being completely false. I know that if I had any weaknesses I would surely admit to them.)

Because of their high spirited and emotional character, horse people can be endearing and frustrating at the same time (or so my husband says).

Clint Eastwood, Nelson Mandela, Oprah, James Dean, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Sandra Bullock, and Rembrandt were all born under the sign of the horse (or ‘ma’ in Chinese).

If you are not sure which animal symbolizes the year you were born in the Chinese zodiac, hop on over here to the Zodiac Calculator and have a look.

Whether you are into horoscopes or not, 2014 seems like as good a year as any to get off to a running start and give free rein to your dreams.

To quote a Chinese saying: “A good horse never turns its head to eat the grass behind.”

So look ahead, ignore ‘neigh’ sayers, kick up your heels, and boldly gallop off in the directions of greener pastures!

Gung Hay Fat Choy!



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