Thursday, January 30, 2014

Happy Year of the Horse!

Year 2014 is a Year of the Wooden Horse. In the Chinese zodiac horse is a powerful animal. 

In the past horse was a status symbol in the Middle Kingdom. No other animal affected its history as much as the horse. China's military prowess was measured by the number of war chariots. As the Chinese Empire expanded, horses became essential in the defense, administration and control of its vast territory.

Horses were first domesticated in the north-eastern part of China some 5,000 years ago and were used in warfare and to provide swift and comfortable transportation for the imperial court and the nobles. With the growing military significance of the horse in the Han (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.) and Tang Dynasties (618- 907) horse was also used in many recreational activities that included hunting, dancing dressage and polo.

Since domestic breading was rather difficult, for centuries horses were regarded more as a luxury and were never used as farm animals. Less affluent people traveled on oxes or in ox-drawn carts and used oxes as work animals.

In the Chinese culture horse not only symbolizes travel and mobility, but is also regarded as a sign of quick success or "arrival." Yet, if not handled properly, horse may become wild and frivolous. This means that the Year of the Horse may bring you a lot of success, but you have to hold the reins and steer it into a right direction. The wood element makes the horse a bit more stable and manageable: wooden horse becomes a more steady force that will definitively get you to your destination. It will not get distracted and carried away as easily, but it will be flexible enough if you need to change directions quickly. 

新 年 快 樂 !

Wishing everyone a very happy and successful Year of the Horse ~ Dominique Allmon


Image source here