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Sheep Year (2003 Spring Festival)

Chinese Zodiac-- animals imparting distinct characteristics to its year

In China, instead of asking your age, people may ask you questions like "what do you belong to?" Don't ever think that you are expected to answer like "I belong to the US". You are supposed to belong to one of twelve animals! (Those are mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.) It is not that weird as you have to follow the order of a mouse or a tiger. That is Chinese Zodiac. The Chinese Zodiac is based on a twelve year cycle --- each year being represented by an animal that imparts distinct characteristics to its year. Many Chinese believe that the year of a person's birth is the primary factor in determining that person's personality traits, physical and mental attributes and degree of success and happiness throughout his lifetime.

Sheep year people-- honest, calm, compassionate and dependant

If you were born in 1907-19-31-43-55-67-79-91-2003, your sign is the Sheep. Sheep year people make excellent spouses. They are so gentle. A suckling lamb bends its knees when it takes milk from its mother. This suits the hours between 13:00 and 15:00, a time of simplicity and orderly tranquility, when the power of Yin is still rising to be associated with the sheep. Sheep people are paragons of virtue. They are scrupulously honest, calm, compassionate, dedicated, aesthetic and fashionable. Since they are trustworthy, people trust them with money. Their concern for others could make them gullible. However, they have a cynical streak and a tendency to act reserved, which counterbalances the inherent weakness of sheep with people's "snow jobs". As expected sheep prefer to be shepherded. They are extremely dependant. (The Sheep Personality)

Year 2003-- a Chinese black sheep year

Why do the Chinese name year 2003 as the Black Sheep Year? Chinese calendar uses the Stem-Branch system to count the days, months and years. There are 10 Stems and 12 Branches in this system. Stems are named by the Yin-Yang and Five Elements (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth).Branches use the animal names.

Year 2003 is Female Water Sheep (Five types of sheep), the 20th of the Stem-Branch in the system. Because Water is equivalent to color Black in the Five-Element system, Year 2003 is also called Black Sheep year. Snake (2001), Horse (2002) and Sheep (2003) are the cycle of Fire years. The Sheep is the ending year of the cycle. Sheep contains Fire, Earth and Wood elements. Therefore, the year of Sheep will carry the old business from the Horse year, then face the new business from the Earth element. In the end period of Sheep year is the precursor of next Metal cycle. That means 2003 is a turning point year for many people.

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