Author Topic: The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.  (Read 3661 times)

AccessOfficer

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The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.
« on: 31 Jan 2014 09:31AM »
"The 15-day celebration of the Chinese new year starts today Friday 31st January, with the first new moon of the calendar year. The day marks the end of the year of the water snake and welcomes the start of the year of the wooden horse.

To bring you luck this new year, we've listed eight (A lucky number in China) things you possibly didn't know about the year ahead."

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/31/eight-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-year-of-horse

Best wishes
AO

suessad

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Re: The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.
« Reply #1 on: 02 Feb 2014 09:00AM »
No offence to anyone but, could the Guardian not find a wooden horse.?

starsmurf

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Re: The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.
« Reply #2 on: 02 Feb 2014 09:04AM »
They could've used this one, but people might wrongly have thought it was insulting the Chinese.



It's actually in China.

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Fiz

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Re: The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.
« Reply #3 on: 02 Feb 2014 10:24AM »
I quite like this BBC subtitle typo


stalwart

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Re: The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.
« Reply #4 on: 02 Feb 2014 12:44PM »
What's this thing nowadays of the "wooden" horse and the "water" snake?
I've always known them simply as the years of the horse and snake.  I was born in the year of the dog, what's that now?.......the "temple" dog?  >doh<

Dic Penderyn

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Re: The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.
« Reply #5 on: 02 Feb 2014 06:55PM »
The horse is part of a 12-year-cycle of animals that make up the Chinese zodiac. These interact with the five elements: wood, metal, fire, water, earth. 2014 is the year of the wood horse, taking over from the year of the water snake.
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

seegee

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Re: The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.
« Reply #6 on: 02 Feb 2014 08:12PM »
There were dragons in the streets today...

seegee

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Re: The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.
« Reply #7 on: 02 Feb 2014 08:13PM »
lanterns in the trees...

seegee

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Re: The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.
« Reply #8 on: 02 Feb 2014 08:15PM »
...and lots of people

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.
« Reply #9 on: 02 Feb 2014 09:12PM »
There's usually a good show each year in Belfast. Sadly, I won't get to see it this time round  :-(

starsmurf

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Re: The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.
« Reply #10 on: 02 Feb 2014 10:02PM »
What's this thing nowadays of the "wooden" horse and the "water" snake?
I've always known them simply as the years of the horse and snake.  I was born in the year of the dog, what's that now?.......the "temple" dog?  >doh<

There is a rational explanation for why the Chinese calendar works the way it does.  The years have always been measured with the "wooden horse" way, it's not a new thing, but we in the West just never heard about it until recently.

The twelve year cycle is to do with which of the constellations Jupiter will be in.  Jupiter takes twelve years to complete one orbit around the Sun.

The sixty-year cycle is to do with exactly how it travels through these constellations.  The planets all travel in a plane around the Sun, like the rings around Saturn.  However, there are slight differences with the angle of one planet's orbit compared to another. 

The orbit of Jupiter is slightly "tilted" with respect to Earth's orbit, think of a hat worn at a slight angle.  This tilt affects how high or low in the sky Jupiter appears.  So in one year of the horse, Jupiter could be above the constellation and then twelve years later it could be slightly below the constellation.

This tilt means that it takes sixty years, or five Jupiter orbits, to appear at the same elevation in the same constellation.  As a result, many cultures have this sixty-year cycle in their astrology.

This sixty-year cycle and twelve-year orbit of Jupiter are the reason we measure time the way we do.  Our measure of time was devised by the ancient Babylonians.  They worshipped the planet Jupiter, so they were obsessed with twelve, sixty and six (as that's half a Jovian orbit and is when it will be highest from a particular location).  So we have sixty seconds in a minute and sixty minutes in an hour.  Our day is then split into twelve hours of day and twelve hours of night.  We have twelve months in a year, even though there are thirteen lunar months.

I found out about this cycle when a friend gave me a book on Chinese astrology for my seventeenth birthday (thanks, I'm applying to study astrophysics at uni, of course I believe in astrology!).  According to that book, I'm a Snake in the Grass.
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oldtone27

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Re: The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.
« Reply #11 on: 03 Feb 2014 09:39AM »
That was interesting. I knew our calendar was based on that of the Babylonians, but I did not realise that was based on the orbit of Jupiter.

(thanks, I'm applying to study astrophysics at uni, of course I believe in astrology!).

A simple mistake.  >whistle< Nonetheless there is a connection as surely the earliest astronomers were astrologers. That thought made me wonder whether the stars were first studied to understand the gods or to predict the seasons? Perhaps this post belongs in 'Ask an astronomer'?

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.
« Reply #12 on: 03 Feb 2014 01:00PM »
Quote
(thanks, I'm applying to study astrophysics at uni, of course I believe in astrology!).

A simple mistake.  >whistle< Nonetheless there is a connection as surely the earliest astronomers were astrologers.

Pretty much, OldTone. I have a fair number of books on Greek and Roman astrology and prognostication (spot who wanted to do classics at uni) - all very interesting from an historical perspective. 

Prabhakari

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Re: The Chinese new year of the wooden horse.
« Reply #13 on: 03 Feb 2014 04:35PM »
I once had a book of Chinese Astrology, which is not the same as the Western System.
It proved to be quite useful.

I have got a programme for Tibetan Astrology. Nothing like Western. It is to be used as a spiritual guide.
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