The Chinese Zodiac consists of a 12-year cycle, each year of which is named after a different animal that visited the Buddha on his deathbed. Each animal has distinctive attributes and characteristics that are in turned mirrored in the personality of anyone born in the same corresponding year.
The ram is an auspicious animal, and the Year of the Ram, therefore, heralds a year of promise and prosperity. "Yáng" is a component of another written Chinese character "xiang" (祥), which means auspiciousness, and the two were interchangeable in ancient Chinese, according to one source. It is also a part of the character "shan" (善), which counts kindness and benevolence as among its meanings.
Due to the luna-solar nature of the traditional Chinese calendar system, the "zodiacal" year does not align with the Western calendar. A new year is determined by a lunar system, which results in each new year beginning on a new moon sometime between late January to mid-to-late February. Goat aspects can also enter by other factors or measures, such as hourly.
In Chinese astrology the ram is described as loving, peaceful, kind and popular. The Year of the Ram began on February 19, 2015 (the Lunar New Year / Spring Festival of China) and lasts to February. 7, 2016. People born in 2015, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 1955 where all born under this auspicious sign.
EcoSmart Designs has the Chinese symbol for the Year of the Ram as one of its thousands of hand-crafted pewter jewelry designs. (show actual pewter image)
Each of EcoSmart Design for the Western Zodiac System is also available on beautifully displayed story cards with a brief synopsis of the good…and not so good...qualities of each sign.