We celebrate the new Lunar New Year. According to Chinese astrology, this is the Year of the Sheep .. or is it The Ram ... or is it the Goat?
According to NBC news coverage, it apparently matters. "This animal sign, which comes once every dozen years, can be said to have an identity crisis. Known variably as the Year of the Goat, Sheep or Ram, the sign's confusion stems from its Chinese character, "yang," which broadly describes any of the ruminating mammals, with or without horns. Many Chinese prefer to translate it as the "Year of the Sheep" because sheep are more cute and cuddly, and large sheep figures have appeared around the capital's shopping areas in recent weeks. The goat, however, is more likely to be the original meaning because it was a popular farm animal among Han Chinese who started the zodiac tradition, Huang Yang, a researcher on the roles of sheep and goats in Chinese culture, was quoted by the official Xinhua News agency as saying."
My overview of the Year of the Sheep makes no distinction:
Some astrology books equate The Sign of The Sheep with the Sign of the Ram or The Sign of the Goat, but it is all the same as far as personality is concerned. Emotional, sentimental and mushy, Sheep correspond to the western sign of Cancer. Sheep are cuddly nurturers who can be sentimental and clingy. “Clingy”? Well perhaps a little overly mothering. But it’s because they care so much.
Some parents delay or induce births to avoid the Year of the Sheep because they think their offspring will be too docile or easily manipulated. But it is the savvy parent who goes right ahead and bears a Sheep Year baby: "One woman attending a prenatal class, and due in late February, said she doesn't pay much attention to the zodiac. 'Lots of people think sheep babies' lives will be very tiring and they have to work hard, so lots of people try to avoid having sheep babies," said the mother-to-be, who would only give her surname, Li. "But that means my baby won't have as much competition, which is great.' "