in Themed Jewelry on February 19, 2015
The year of 2015 is the year of the goat and/or sheep. Goat/sheep, how can it be both? It seems rather impossible to confuse the two right?
China’s coming lunar new year has stirred a debate over which zodiac creature is the correct one, but Chinese folklorists dismiss the fixation on animals as missing the point.
Traditional astrology in China attaches different animal signs to each lunar year in a cycle of 12 years.
The symbol for the new year starting on February 19 is the “yang,” which can refer to any member of the caprinae subfamily, or even beyond, depending on what additional Chinese character it is paired up with.
For example, a goat is a “mountain yang,” a sheep is a “soft yang” and a Mongolian gazelle is a “yellow yang”. Got it? Good for you, I am struggling to understand.
Both goats and sheep appear in Chinese new year paintings, paper cuts and other festival decorations.
Folklorists say it does not matter which one is used since the zodiac sign was chosen for the Chinese character’s auspicious connotation rather than the specific animal – at least in the beginning.
“This ‘yang’ is fictional. It does not refer to any specific kind (of sheep or goat)” Zhao Shu, a researcher with the Beijing Research Institute of Culture and History.
Now I really don’t understand. Ah well, much ado about mutton. Happy New Year!!
Lydia Courteille ‘Goat’ ring in yellow gold set with diamonds and sapphires from the Animal Farm Collection.
Goat pin, circa 1890.
Tiffany gold, platinum and diamond ram brooch.
David Webb ram bracelet.
A cultured pearl, black enamel and yellow gold ram clip by Rene Boivin.