SADDLE UP FOR A BUMPY YEAR OF THE WOOD HORSE

Conflicts, disasters, record high temperatures, an economic chill in Asia and more trouble for Justin Bieber—the upcoming Year of the Horse is set to be a dramatic one, say Hong Kong feng shui masters. With the Year of the Snake slithering into history, they say that the incoming Lunar New Year beginning on Friday is going to be the kind of horse that you shouldn’t stand behind—because it incorporates the volatile element of fire. “With this being the Year of the Wood Horse, and with wood being very combustible, there will be a lot of scandals, conflicts, explosions and arguments,” celebrity feng-shui master Alion Yeo said. Celebrities born in the Year of the Horse include boxer Manny Pacquiao, actress Halle Berry, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the late former South African President Nelson Mandela—whose 1990 release from prison also occurred in a “horse” year. Tens of thousands of worshippers will be offering sticks of incense on the eve of the first day of the Lunar New Year to pray for good luck and fortune at Hong Kong’s Wong Tai Sin Temple. The former British colony is also a popular horse-racing destination, hosting the Chinese New Year Raceday on February 2, with total payouts of up to HK$68 million ($8.76 million). The city will celebrate the new year with a 23-minute long fireworks display on Saturday, which organizers say will display the word “win” in capital letters twice. In mainland China tourism operators are also seeking to capitalize, particularly in Dan Xia Shan, a mountainous tourist attraction in the southern province of Guangdong which includes five hills known as “five horses return to the manger.”

ALSO: Chinese New Year 2014: What Does the Year of the Horse Mean?

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on January 31 It is believed those born in the year of the horse have excellent communication skills and enjoy being in the limelight. It is believed the animals in the Chinese zodiac calendar originated from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), during which they were used to count years in same way as the modern Christian calendar. The Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao, is based on a 12-year cycle and each year in that cycle is related to an animal sign. These animal signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each animal is associated with an "earthly branch" such as fire, water, metal or wood. As it was observed that there were 12 full moons in one year, the number 12 is used to divide years and times of the day. What type of people are born on the year of the horse? Those born within these years are recognised as energetic, bright and intelligent. This kind of person is sometimes referred to a "Qianli Ma" - a horse that covers a thousand li a day (one li is equivalent to 500 metres).


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Saddle up for a bumpy Year of the Horse
January 29, 2014 10:35 pm


A boy dances in front of two dragons that roamed the streets of Binondo, Manila, two days before the Chinese New Year. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

HONGKONG, FEBRUARY 3, 2014 (MANILA TIMES) Conflicts, disasters, record high temperatures, an economic chill in Asia and more trouble for Justin Bieber—the upcoming Year of the Horse is set to be a dramatic one, say Hong Kong feng shui masters.

With the Year of the Snake slithering into history, they say that the incoming Lunar New Year beginning on Friday is going to be the kind of horse that you shouldn’t stand behind—because it incorporates the volatile element of fire.

“With this being the Year of the Wood Horse, and with wood being very combustible, there will be a lot of scandals, conflicts, explosions and arguments,” celebrity feng-shui master Alion Yeo said.

Feng shui—literally meaning “wind-water”—is influential in many parts of Asia, where people adjust their lives and even renovate offices and homes based on its edicts to maximize their luck and wealth.

Yeo says that conflict in the new year could be defined by anything from diplomatic tension to armed engagement, particularly in the first, fourth and seventh lunar months—February, May and August.

“The most likely thing that could lead to a physical war would be the Diaoyu Islands,” Yeo said, referring to acute tensions between Japan and China over the Japanese-controlled islets that Tokyo calls the Senkaku islands.

The previous Year of the Wood Horse in 1954 was marked by nuclear bomb tests by the US and the former Soviet Union and the battle of Dien Bien Phu, which led to the defeat of French forces in Vietnam.

West gallops ahead

Chinese fortune-telling such as feng shui is based on ancient philosophy and the belief that events are dictated by the varying balances in the five elements that make up the universe: metal, wood, water, fire and earth.

The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon and through Chinese folklore ascribes 12 animals, one for each year in the rotating cycle. The horse is in the seventh position.

Feng shui master Chow Honming believes that while the United States and Europe will enjoy economic recovery, nations such as Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Pakistan will feel a negative impact.

“The Western economy will see obvious improvement but Eastern nations will face difficulties and their economies may even take backward steps.”

Chow believes it will be a tricky year for US President Barack Obama, who was born in the Year of the Ox in 1961.

“He may make gaffes, he may face obstacles when it comes to cutting through political red tape,” Chow said.

Record-high temperatures and natural disasters will be prominent due to the influence of the fire element, according to soothsayers.

“There will be a higher chance of volcanic eruption and earthquakes because the earth element will be irritated by the abundance of fire,” fortune-teller Cheng Chi-hang told AFP, adding that Japan, Indonesia and China will be particularly prone.

Bad year for Bieber?

A person’s fortune is calculated by using the exact time and date of his birth, with the relationship of each of the elements.

Troubled Canadian pop star Justin Bieber will be on a streak of negativity this year, Yeo said. “There will be times where he will not be able to control himself.”

Bieber, 19, was charged with driving under the influence after police caught him drag-racing in Miami Beach last week—allegedly after drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.

“His fire element, if he goes all the way, could lead to health risks,” Yeo said.

Celebrities born in the Year of the Horse include boxer Manny Pacquiao, actress Halle Berry, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the late former South African President Nelson Mandela—whose 1990 release from prison also occurred in a “horse” year.

Tens of thousands of worshippers will be offering sticks of incense on the eve of the first day of the Lunar New Year to pray for good luck and fortune at Hong Kong’s Wong Tai Sin Temple.

The former British colony is also a popular horse-racing destination, hosting the Chinese New Year Raceday on February 2, with total payouts of up to HK$68 million ($8.76 million).

The city will celebrate the new year with a 23-minute long fireworks display on Saturday, which organizers say will display the word “win” in capital letters twice.


Shoppers at a New Year market in Chinatown, Singapore

In mainland China tourism operators are also seeking to capitalize, particularly in Dan Xia Shan, a mountainous tourist attraction in the southern province of Guangdong which includes five hills known as “five horses return to the manger.”


Southeast Asia's largest temple — Kek Lok Si in Penang, Malaysia — illuminated in preparation for the Lunar New Year.

FROM INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES, UK

Chinese New Year 2014: What Does the Year of the Horse Mean? By LYDIA SMITH | January 29, 2014 08:43 AM GMT 41 11 0 submit to reddit Share on emailShare on print


Wikimedia Commons: Sculpture of a horse from the Chinese zodiac in Mount Mogan park, Zhejiang Province

It is believed the animals in the Chinese zodiac calendar originated from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), during which they were used to count years in same way as the modern Christian calendar.

The Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao, is based on a 12-year cycle and each year in that cycle is related to an animal sign.

These animal signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each animal is associated with an "earthly branch" such as fire, water, metal or wood.

As it was observed that there were 12 full moons in one year, the number 12 is used to divide years and times of the day.

What type of people are born on the year of the horse?

Those born within these years are recognised as energetic, bright and intelligent. This kind of person is sometimes referred to a "Qianli Ma"- a horse that covers a thousand li a day (one li is equivalent to 500 metres).

Chinese New Year Reuters According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on January 31 It is believed those born in the year of the horse have excellent communication skills and enjoy being in the limelight.

In general, it is suggested that they are cheerful, popular, talented and enjoy entertaining. They are associated

 with success and cannot stand failure.


Reuters: According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on January 31

What are their weaknesses?

Constraint is said to be absent in people born on the year of the horse. While they are believed to be talented, they are impatient and hot-blooded about everything. Failure can result in pessimism.

The year of the horse is associated with people who are bad at managing their finances and pursue high profile careers. They pride themselves on being independent are rarely take advice from others, and have frequent bouts of bad temper.

What will the year of the horse bring?

For those born on the year of the horse, they will encounter the Year of Birth (Benming Nian). It is believed they will offend Taisui, the god in charge of fortune, so their finances may fluctuate. In terms of career, it is advised to keep the peace between colleagues.


One version of niangao, Chinese New Year cake

For those not born on a horse year, the year ahead will bring health and prosperity. It is said to be an excellent time to travel, as the next 12 months will bring good luck. You are advised to mingle with the locals, savour authentic cuisine and discover somewhere you have never been before.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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