Sheep

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The sky is blue, the land is vast

The wind blows, the grass lies flat

Revealing cows and sheep

Sheep comes eighth in the Chinese zodiac. Sheep are docile and benevolent, and many auspicious Chinese characters, such as “善” shan (kindness), “美” mei (beauty), “祥” xiang (luck), and “鲜” xian (brightness), include the component “羊” yang (sheep). The sheep is the symbol of Guangdong, one of the largest cities in southern China, which is also known as Yangcheng (Sheep City).

The sheep symbolized justice in ancient China. Legend has it that a type of divine sheep called xiezhi was able to recognize wrongdoers, and would gore them in punishment. Consequently, judges in the ancient State of Chu (present-day Hubei Province) wore an image of the xiezhi on their hats as a symbol of impartiality.

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Docile Sheep corresponds to Cancer in the Western zodiac. According to some legends, it is relatively inauspicious to be born in the Year of the Sheep, but this prejudice is unwarranted. People born in the Year of the Sheep are meticulous and considerate by nature, and are able to find appropriate ways to deal with any situation. They are steadfast and unafraid of hardship, and understand the value of thrift.

However, people born in the Year of the Sheep can be self-absorbed and obstinate, while also timid and irresolute. They are attracted to the mysterious, and prefer to resign themselves to fate rather than struggle to overcome it. Women born in the Year of the Sheep are kindhearted and supportive, and are ideal domestic partners.

People whose birthdays fall during the following periods are born in the Year of the Sheep:

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The first date indicates Lunar New Year’s Day. The second date indicates the last day of the lunar year.

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