Goat (zodiac)

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The Goat (Chinese : ; pinyin :yáng) is the eighth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The sign is often [1] referred to as the Ram or Sheep sign, [2] since the Chinese word yáng is more accurately translated as Caprinae , a taxonomic subfamily that includes both goats and sheep. [3] The Year of the Goat is associated with the 8th Earthly Branch symbol, (wèi). [4]

Goat domesticated mammal raised primarily for its milk

The domestic goat or simply goat is a subspecies of C. aegagrus domesticated from the wild goat of Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the animal family Bovidae and the goat—antelope subfamily Caprinae, meaning it is closely related to the sheep. There are over 300 distinct breeds of goat. Goats are one of the oldest domesticated species of animal, and have been used for milk, meat, fur, and skins across much of the world. Milk from goats is often turned into goat cheese.

Chinese language family of languages

Chinese is a group of related, but in many cases not mutually intelligible, language varieties, forming the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Chinese is spoken by the Han majority and many minority ethnic groups in China. About 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language.

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.


Goat or Sheep

The Chinese word yáng refers to both goats and sheep, [5] whereas the terms shānyáng () and miányáng (; 綿) refer exclusively to goats and sheep, respectively. [6] [7] In English, the sign (originally based on a horned animal) may be called either. The interpretation of goat or sheep depends on culture. [1] In Vietnamese, the sign is mùi, which is unambiguously goat. [8] In Japan, on the other hand, the sign is hitsuji, sheep; [8] while in Korea [9] and Mongolia, the sign is ram or sheep. Within China, there may be a regional distinction with the zodiacal yáng more likely to be thought of as a goat in the south, while tending to be thought of as a sheep in the north. [10]

Yin and yang Chinese philosophical concept

In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. In Chinese cosmology, the universe creates itself out of a primary chaos of material energy, organized into the cycles of Yin and Yang and formed into objects and lives. Yin is the receptive and Yang the active principle, seen in all forms of change and difference such as the annual cycle, the landscape, sexual coupling, the formation of both men and women as characters, and sociopolitical history.

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. Named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that would later take their name, England, both names ultimately deriving from the Anglia peninsula in the Baltic Sea. It is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent Latin and French.

Chinese culture Asian culture

Chinese culture is one of the world's oldest cultures, originating thousands of years ago. The area in which the culture is dominant covers a large geographical region in East Asia with customs and traditions varying greatly between provinces, cities, and even towns as well. With China being one of the earliest ancient civilizations, Chinese culture is extremely diverse and varying, and it has a profound effect in the philosophy, virtue, etiquette and traditions of Asia to date.


The Chinese commonly regard sheep as an auspicious animal, and the year of the sheep, therefore, heralds a year of promise and prosperity. [6] "Yáng" (羊) is a component of another written Chinese characters "xiang" (), which means auspiciousness, and the two were interchangeable in ancient Chinese, according to one source. [11] It is also a part of the character "shan" (), which counts kindness and benevolence as among its meanings.

Varieties of Chinese Family of local language varieties

Chinese, also known as Sinitic, is a branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family consisting of hundreds of local language varieties or dialects, many of which are not mutually intelligible. The differences are similar to those within the Romance languages, with variation particularly strong in the more mountainous southeast. A widely quoted classification divides these varieties into seven groups: Mandarin, Wu, Min, Xiang, Gan, Hakka and Yue, though a more recent classification splits some of these to obtain ten groups, and some varieties remain unclassified.

Written Chinese Overview of writing varieties of Chinese

Written Chinese comprises Chinese characters used to represent the Chinese language. Chinese characters do not constitute an alphabet or a compact syllabary. Rather, the writing system is roughly logosyllabic; that is, a character generally represents one syllable of spoken Chinese and may be a word on its own or a part of a polysyllabic word. The characters themselves are often composed of parts that may represent physical objects, abstract notions, or pronunciation. Literacy requires the memorization of a great many characters: educated Chinese know about 4,000. The large number of Chinese characters has in part led to the adoption of Western alphabets as an auxiliary means of representing Chinese.

Chinese characters logographic writing system used in the Sinosphere region

Chinese characters are logograms developed for the writing of Chinese. They have been adapted to write a number of other Asian languages. They remain a key component of the Japanese writing system and are occasionally used in the writing of Korean. They were formerly used in Vietnamese and Zhuang. Collectively, they are known as CJK characters. Vietnamese is sometimes also included, making the abbreviation CJKV.

Individuals born in the zodiac year have been supposed to share certain characteristics with other individuals also born in years of the same animal sign. Similarly, years sharing the same animal sign have been supposed to share certain characteristics, repeating over their 12/60 year cycle. The shared characteristics in this case are traits attributed to goats.

Zodiac celestial circle of twelve divisions centered upon the ecliptic

The zodiac is an area of the sky that extends approximately 8° north or south of the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year. The paths of the Moon and visible planets are also within the belt of the zodiac.

Due to the lunisolar nature of the traditional Chinese calendar system, [12] the zodiacal year does not align with the Gregorian calendar: new years are determined by a system which results in each new year beginning on a new moon sometime between late January to mid-to-late February. [13] Goat aspects can also enter by other chronomantic factors or measures, such as hourly.

A lunisolar calendar is a calendar in many cultures whose date indicates both the Moon phase and the time of the solar year. If the solar year is defined as a tropical year, then a lunisolar calendar will give an indication of the season; if it is taken as a sidereal year, then the calendar will predict the constellation near which the full moon may occur. As with all calendars which divide the year into months there is an additional requirement that the year have a whole number of months. In this case ordinary years consist of twelve months but every second or third year is an embolismic year, which adds a thirteenth intercalary, embolismic, or leap month.

Nature The phenomena of the physical world, and life in general

Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, or material world or universe. "Nature" can refer to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The study of nature is a large, if not the only, part of science. Although humans are part of nature, human activity is often understood as a separate category from other natural phenomena.

Chinese calendar lunisolar calendar from China

The traditional China calendar, or Former Calendar, Traditional Calendar or Lunar Calendar, is a lunisolar calendar which reckons years, months and days according to astronomical phenomena. It is defined by GB/T 33661-2017, "Calculation and promulgation of the Chinese calendar", issued by the Standardisation Administration of China on 12 May 2017.

In Chinese astrology, Goats are described as peace-loving, kind, and popular. [14] With the addition of the Wood element, the Goat characteristic is thought to love peace and to be helpful and trusting, but yet also to be clinging and of a nature resistant to change. [15]

Chinese astrology

Chinese astrology is based on the traditional astronomy and calendars. The development of Chinese astrology is tied to that of astronomy, which came to flourish during the Han Dynasty.

In Chinese philosophy, wood, sometimes translated as Tree, is the growing of the matter, or the matter's growing stage. Wood is the first phase of Wu Xing. Wood is the most yang in character of the Five elements. It stands for springtime, the east, the planet Jupiter, the color green, windy weather, and the Azure Dragon in Four Symbols. The color blue also represents wood.

<i>Wu Xing</i> Chinese five elements

The Wu Xing, also known as the Five Elements, Five Phases, the Five Agents, the Five Movements, Five Processes, the Five Steps/Stages and the Five Planets of significant gravity: Mars-火, Mercury-水, Jupiter-木, Venus-金, Saturn-土 is the short form of "Wǔ zhǒng liúxíng zhī qì" (五種流行之氣) or "the five types of chi dominating at different times". It is a fivefold conceptual scheme that many traditional Chinese fields used to explain a wide array of phenomena, from cosmic cycles to the interaction between internal organs, and from the succession of political regimes to the properties of medicinal drugs. The "Five Phases" are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. This order of presentation is known as the "mutual generation" sequence. In the order of "mutual overcoming", they are Wood, Earth, Water, Fire, and Metal.

Years and the Five Elements

People born within these date ranges can be said to have been born in the "Year of the Goat", while also bearing the following elemental sign:

Start dateEnd dateHeavenly branch
13 February 19071 February 1908 Fire Goat
1 February 191920 February 1920 Earth Goat
17 February 19315 February 1932 Metal Goat
5 February 194324 January 1944 Water Goat
24 January 195511 February 1956 Wood Goat
9 February 196729 January 1968 Fire Goat
28 January 197915 February 1980 Earth Goat
15 February 19913 February 1992 Metal Goat
1 February 200321 January 2004 Water Goat
19 February 20157 February 2016 Wood Goat
6 February 202725 January 2028 Fire Goat
24 January 203911 February 2040 Earth Goat
11 February 205131 January 2052 Metal Goat
29 January 206316 February 2064 Water Goat
15 February 20754 February 2076 Wood Goat
3 February 208723 January 2088 Fire Goat
29 January 209908 February 2100 Earth Goat

Chinese zodiac Goat

SignBest MatchAverageNo Match
GoatGoat, Pig, Rabbit Dog, Tiger, Horse, Dragon, Monkey, Rat, Snake, Rooster Ox

Basic astrology elements

Earthly Branches of Birth Year:Wei
The Five Elements: Earth
Yin Yang:Yin
Lunar Month:Sixth
Lucky Numbers:2, 3, 4, 7, 9; Avoid: 6, 8
Lucky Flowers: carnation, primrose, flower
Lucky Colors:green, red, purple; Avoid: gold, brown

See also

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  1. 1 2 Wen Huang, "Year of the Sheep, Goat or Ram?" Chicago Tribune, January 31, 2003. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  2. Theodora Lau and Laura Lau, Chapter 8: "The Sheep: The Eighth Sign of the Lunar Cycle", The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, pp. 193-220, Harper Collins, 1979 (paperback edition December 2010) ISBN   978-0061990915
  3. A Lunar New Year With a Name That’s a Matter of Opinion, Chris Buckley, New York Times, Feb. 18, 2015: "The reason is that the word for the eighth animal in the Chinese zodiac’s 12-year cycle of creatures, yang in Mandarin, does not make the distinction found in English between goats and sheep and other members of the Caprinae subfamily. Without further qualifiers, yang might mean any such hoofed animal that eats grass and bleats."
  4. "Chinese Zodiac - Sheep / Goat / Ram". Travel China Guide. TravelChinaGuide.com. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  5. Sagart, Laurent (1999). "25.5: Goats and Sheep". The Roots of Old Chinese. John Benjamins Publishing. pp. 194–195.
  6. 1 2 Celebrating The Lunar New Year Archived February 16, 2015, at the Wayback Machine , Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, Dec. 20 2001; in earlier form here Archived 2015-02-16 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved 15 Feb. 2015.
  7. Ankita Varma, "Sheep muscle in on Year of the Goat", The Straits Times, Singapore, Jan 27, 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  8. 1 2 'Year of the Sheep' or 'Year of the Goat'?, CJV Lang. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  9. Erica Pearson, Lunar New Year celebrations to welcome year of ‘any ruminant horned animal’, New York Daily News, February 7, 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  10. Victor Mair quoted in Sonnad, Nikhil (19 February 2015). "Happy lunar new year! But is it the year of the sheep or something else?". Quartz. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  11. Fran Wang, "Big Yang Theory: Chinese year of the sheep or the goat?", AFP, Asia One News, Feb 16, 2015. Retrieved 19 Feb. 2015.
  12. Space.com, Lunar New Year's Asian Barnyard Demystified (Video). Retrieved 23 Feb. 2015
  13. Mark Swofford. "When Is Chinese New Year". pinyin.info. Retrieved 19 Feb 2015.
  14. Hale, Jill, The Practical Encyclopedia of Feng Shui, New York: Barnes and Noble Books (2002). ISBN   0-7607-3741-X, p. 20
  15. Hale, p. 244

Further reading