Lunar New Year: Predictions for Year of the Sheep (or Ram, or Goat)

Chinese astrology consultant Sonia Tan on implications of Year of the Sheep (or Ram, or Goat)

A kinder, gentler year ahead as Year of the Sheep (or Ram or Goat) begins

Cathy Gibler and Katrina Nguyen of Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden are calling it the "Year of the Ram" because it seems more robust than "Year of the Sheep." (Margaret Gallagher/CBC)

The Year of the Sheep has arrived.

Or is it the ram? Or the goat?

The Chinese character representing the animal of year could mean any of the above. Which leaves the animal of the year open to interpretation.

"We chose the ram because it felt quite robust, says Cathy Gibler, Executive Director of Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden. "It matches with tiger and dragon. And also because Chinatown, which is our neighbourhood, is using that."

Even though a ram is a male sheep (specifically, one that is uncastrated), some people aren't keen to give the year over to the sheep — an animal widely considered to be timid, docile and born to follow, rather than lead.

Which doesn't bode well for people born under the year of the sheep.

Sheep considered inflexible and reliable

'Whatever the economy is going through and the world is going through is striving towards some peace and stability, and some growth."- Sonia Tan, Chinese astrology consultant

"The sheep tends to be very inflexible," says Chinese astrology consultant Sonia Tan. "Takes a long time to make decisions. Some people view that as lazy. They're not a very action-oriented person. And if they get pushed too far, they definitely have a big temper."

Some superstitious families have tried to avoid giving birth in the Year of of the Sheep. But Tan says there are good sides to being a sheep.

"They are very compassionate and kind people. They are very tolerant and trustworthy and reliable."

Astrology Consultant says a peaceful year ahead

Tan says these qualities bode well for the year ahead. "Whatever the economy is going through and the world is going through is striving towards some peace and stability, and some growth."

Regardless of whether you call it the year of the sheep, goat, or ram, Tan says the year can bring good things to all.

"Every year is a new opportunity," according to Tan. "Every year brings us certain lessons or challenges we are meant to go through, or opportunities or blessings we are meant to go through. we need to take it all in stride."

About the Author

Margaret Gallagher

Margaret Gallagher is the reporter for On the Coast and the host of Hot Air on CBC Radio One.

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