To many, Chinese New Year is little more than a novelty. A fun and colorful celebration marked by fireworks, dancing and Chinese dragons. But underneath the festivities is one of China’s oldest traditions where you will find more than once thought. Chinese New Year is one of the oldest traditions and festivals for the country. It marks the beginning of a new agricultural season, and is also considered a time for loved ones to reunite and take part in traditions designed to bring good fortune for the next calendar year. 

It is believed the animals in the Chinese zodiac calendar originated from the Han Dynasty. 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. This years sign is the year of the horse. Those born in horse years are cheerful, perceptive, witty, talented and good with their hands. Noteable people born in the year of the horse include: Rembrandt, Harrison Ford, Aretha Franklin, Chopin, Sandra Day O'Connor, and President Theodore Roosevelt. In celebration of the year of the horse we have compiled a list of four things you should know about the zodiac.

1. It is said 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.

2. On the opposite side it is said people born in the year of the horse lack constraint. They are also impatient and hot-blooded about everything. Failure most of the time results in pessimism. They pride themselves on being independent and rarely take advice from others. They frequently have bad tempers and are said to be bad at managing finances.

3. When horse meets horse, the natural Ying-Yang opposition is no longer balanced and thus over the next year horses are due some tense situations and pressure in their personal life. However sometimes meeting your own sign can be a time for self-reflection. It all depends on what year you were born in and how the characteristics of this creature interact with the horse.

4. It is said those born on the year of the horse will encounter the Year of Birth (Benming Nian). It is believed they will offend Taisui, the god in charge of fortune, and in turn their finances will fluctuate. In terms of careers avoid trouble or confrontation between co-workers, just keep the peace.