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2014 Year of the Wood Horse


The Chinese New Year is a spring festival that begins on the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice. This year, the New Moon on January 31 begins the year of the Wood Horse. The Wood Horse year is a time of fast victories, unexpected adventure, and surprising romance. It is an excellent year for travel, and the more far away and off the beaten path the better. Energy is high and production is rewarded. Decisive action, not procrastination, brings victory.

In Chinese astrology, Horse year is considered a fortunate year that brings luck and good things. A white celestial cloud Horse is sacred to the Chinese Goddess Kwan Yin. Her white Horse flies through the heavens, bringing peace and blessings. Horse is a hero in China because important battles were won because of the power and strength of the Horse.

Horse’s cycle is the seventh earthly branch in Chinese medicine and symbolizes June, the fifth lunar month. June is the time of Gemini, Horse’s western zodiac counterpart. In the summer month of June there is powerful yang chi, and yin chi starts to settle. The sun is brightest and the plants are strong, having reached maturity. In Chinese medicine, Horse’s earthly branch is the element Fire.

In Taoist astrology, there are twelve signs of the zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Phoenix, Dog, and Pig. In the distant past, humanity’s relationship with animals was necessary for survival. When animals were domesticated, Taoist priests observed the animals’ traits and, over the centuries, developed a system of twelve animals for a twelve-year cycle. Human physical and temperamental attributes correlated with particular years.  This system became the twelve earthly branches. In the year 2637 BC, the Chinese Emperor Huang Ti standardized this Taoist twelve-year calendar, which has been in continuous use ever since.

People born in Horse years (2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918, 1906) are bright, cheerful, popular, and fun loving. They find people and crowds exciting, and love parties. Horse’s childish innocence, sunny disposition, and natural charm attract many friends. Horse is a highly intuitive animal, so people born in Horse year follow their hunches. Their keen judgment and natural intuition often help them make the right decisions throughout their life. Usually they don’t need to struggle in order to succeed and obtain the fine things life has to offer.

Horses have a carefree nature and need ample room for self expression. When constrained by rules, proud Horse will rebel, refusing to be corralled or tamed. Horses will tell you exactly what is on their mind; they are frank and open.
The Year of the Horse begins January 31, 2014 and continues through February 18, 2015.

The Chinese character for horse, 馬 (mǎ), is a pictogram that depicts a horse with its head turned to look back and with its mane blowing in the wind.

The body and tail of the horse are represented by the stroke that extends midway down the left-hand side of the character, angles to the right, and then angles down the right-hand side of the character.

The four short strokes at the bottom depict the four legs of the horse.

See also:

Susan Levitt:
Epoch Times:
Chinese Writing: An Introduction by Diane Wolff (
[Wolff is the author of two books and numerous articles on Chinese culture and language.]

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