By Eileen Wacker
This is the year of the sheep, the artists of the zodiac. The sheep is kind, sweet and generous. One of the most popular signs of the zodiac, they like support of the group. They like peace. They are sensitive. Since the zodiac has twelve signs, a person is a sheep if they are born this year or turning any multiple of twelve. So if someone you know is turning 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, flatter them. They love to be complimented. Sheep may love deeply but they like to hear it first. Tell your sheep you love them— loyalty and passion will be your reward.
Chinese New Year, also called Chinese Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, has been celebrated for more than 4,000 years. This year it is celebrated from February 19-25, with February 19th as the key day. It’s the grandest and the most important traditional festival for Chinese people. Whole families get together, similar to Christmas Day for Westerners. Originating during the Shang Dynasty (sometime around the 17th – 11th century BC), Chinese or Lunar New Year celebrates family and represents the advent of spring.
Nearly half of the globe’s population believes in and will celebrate this phenomenon, so how can the average person try to win the attention and empathy of the Green Wooden Sheep?
Redecorate your house and clean out your closet. Straighten your kitchen. Have some bamboo (for strength) and flowers. Paint an accent wall. This sheep likes color. Some ideas are red or purple for your living room, the heart of the home. It’s good to have some fire here. For the dining room, maybe a soft gold or terra cotta. This is the earth room, no red as digestion is important. Bedrooms are the lungs of the house so make them soft and serene. Whites, creams and pastels are good. Avoid big prints. Breathe deeply and sleep well.
The sheep is an herbivore. Like it or not, we have a green sheep to please. So all things green are good. Drink green tea, have a green juice smoothie. We are coming out of the year of the swift horse, who was active and impatient. Next year is the tricky fire monkey. We have to embrace the serenity of the sheep, the gentleness, the reasonableness, and the beauty. Although the sheep is a land animal and many associate sheep with the farm, the sheep likes things tidy, not dirty. The sheep is fashionable and elegant.
Five ways to embrace the energy of the sheep, always a good idea because the sheep is such a pleaser…
- Seriously de-clutter your home or a part of your home like your office – You need to make room for good fortune to settle. The extra space will become filled with new, exciting things. The sheep loves interior decorating and making an excellent first impression. At a minimum, clean out your closets and have an inviting, well-lit entryway. Then add in your color accents. Spend wisely. It is not a year of wealth flooding in.
- No matter how cold, open your windows – For a period of time each day leading up to the New Year and then throughout February 19th. The stale air of the past will exit and new opportunities and good luck will be swept in. On New Year’s night, if you are awake at midnight, open every door and window briefly.
- Green is “the new black” – The Sheep loves Green this year. The sheep loves fashion and strives to be elegant. The sheep is not loud or a show off. The sheep waits to be noticed. The sheep looks good and smells good and when you look at the sheep, a friendly response comes back to you. She’s been waiting for your attention and affection. Be fashion forward without being loud. Give yourself a facial with natural products every month.
- On New Year’s Day, share a meal – With someone and talk only about the future and its possibilities. This is a year to renovate your house and have a makeover. Do not talk about the past at all. For your Chinese New Year’s meal on the Feb 19, eat at a table adorned with lit candles. The food should be well spiced and if possible include seafood and dumplings. The seafood represents wealth.
- Soul search – The sheep loves peace and serenity. Give small gifts to people (love is a gift) and it will be returned in some form with greater richness. Little pouches with small money are lucky for children. These gifts bring luck to the recipient as well as the giver. Donate items as you de-clutter; these are gifts to others as well. The sheep is a worrier. Try to avoid being indecisive, moody or pessimistic. It will all work out if you keep moving forward.
Remember to wish your Asian friends and neighbors a successful sheep year. They will appreciate your sentiment and be impressed with your cultural prowess. When we lived in Korea, we observed and participated in these wonderful New Year’s customs. If a billion people believe these tendencies are real, why not join the festivities and see what luck the wood sheep may bring in 2015? The sheep is not known for big moves, so savor the many pleasant small moments this year. Embrace your inner sheep and celebrate a second “Happy New Year” on February 19th.
Eileen Wacker, a Harvard Business School graduate, has lived and worked in seven different countries, including the United States. Wacker is also the multiple award winning author of the Fujimini Adventure Series for children and the upcoming book for women, The Mom’s Code. For more information, please visit: www.oncekids.com.
Sheep Photo Credit :Bicolor sheep by Tambako The Jaguar