* Note: the actualy Tet holiday 2015 will take place from Feb 19 -21, 2015. Most tourism facilities such as hotels and a number of restaurant will still be open during Tet to serve travelers.
The Eastern zodiac not only includes the twelve animals but also incorporates the five elements: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. The year of 2015 is actually At Mui or Wood Goat since “At” stands for the wood element.
Goat as a cultural symbol
Goat is one of the oldest animals to be domesticated. As a result, the image of goat has become a cultural symbol in many regions from West to East.
If you are enthusiastic about Greek mythology, chances are that you will be familiar with the half-man-half-goat Pan, the god of rustic music, hunting and wild nature. Goats also appear in Norse mythology as the pullers of Thor’s chariot. Moreover, god stands for the zodiac sign Aires in Western horoscope!
In the East, goat is featured in the Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese zodiacs. Along with chicken, dog, pig, horse and buffalo, goat was traditionally one of the most breeded animals in Vietnam. Considered to be clean, goat was often slaughtered as tribute to the divine and the dead in religious rituals and special occasions. Goat even makes its way into poem and folk culture. There is one traditional Vietnamese game called “Close the eyes and catch the goat”, which has become the childhood memory of many Vietnamese generations.
The “Goat” people
In Vietnamese culture, those who are born in goat years are believed to be hard-working and determined. Just like a goat that can survive on scarcity of food and withstand extreme weather, “goat” people never give up easily, which makes them trustworthy, reliable, and suitable for demanding jobs like rescuer, policemen and soldier. However, “goat” people are always humble, rarely showing off their own contribution or striving for leadership. This is both a valuable quality and a drawback as it makes them vulnerable to exploitation by others.
People with the goat sign are regarded to be gentle, polite and artsy. In relationship, don’t expect them to take the first step because they are very passive and timid! But once in love, you can count on them as faithful and ardent partners. They are truly organized people who would like to live a peaceful life without much rough and tumble. Although they are neither adventurous nor entrepreneurial, “goat” people can still succeed as they are often supported for their respectable personality.
Believe it or not, many celebrities including Bill Gates, Mark Twain, Malcolm Forbes, Bruce Willis, Nicole Kidman and Michelangelo are born in goat years.
The goat year 2015
The year of 2014 is a turbulent year. Conflicts and wars have been inflicting millions of lives in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Epidemic has killed thousands of people in West Africa and is threatening even the most developed states. With such a year full of misery, many are looking towards to the upcoming year of 2015, full of hope for peace and harmony.
The good news is, according to Eastern belief, the Goat year of 2015 will bring about tranquility and cooperation. Unlike horse which belongs to Yang and represents the Fire element (2014 is the horse year), goat has Yin energy and stands for Wood, symbolizing peace and harmony. In 2015, humanity’s hope for collaboration replacing aggression and happiness replacing misery will certainly come true.