Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Chinese New Year 2015: Celebrate the Year of the Sheep

Su Wu , The Lonely Shepherd

Ren Bonian, 1840- 1895
February 19, 2015 begins the Year of the Sheep according to the Chinese Zodiac. (Also recognized as the Year of the Ram or the Year of the Goat)
In Ancient China the sheep symbolized justice. According to legend a divine sheep called xiezhi was able to recognize wrongdoers, and would gore them in punishment. Judges wore and images of the xiezhi on their hats as a symbol of impartiality.

In Guangzhou, China, there is a statue commemorating the Five Sheep. It is said that the people used to eat only fish, until five gods came to earth riding on five sheep. Each sheep was a different color and held an ear of rice in its mouth.  The gods instructed the people to plant the rice and blessed the city against famine. The gods flew back to the sky but the sheep remained standing until they became stones. Guangzhou is nicknamed “Five Sheep City”, and all sheep are believed to be lucky.

Above information from the following sites:

Since different sites state it is the year of the sheep, goat or ram, I offer you stories on all of these wonderful creatures.


Anyone that can walk three circles around a sleeping sheep will get his wish. 
                                                                                           ~ Icelandic Folklore

The Hyena and the Sheep - Somalia

The Lion, the Cow, the She-Goat and the Sheep - Aesop

The Sharp, Grey Sheep – Gaelic/West Highlands

The Sheep and the Pig Who Set Up House - Norway

The Sheep, the Lamp, the Wolf and the Hare - Tibet

The Shepherd’s Mistake - India

The Sky is Falling - Ethiopia

Why the Stork Eats Frogs and the Wolf Hunts Sheep - Ukraine


The Goat and the Ram - Russia 

The Tiger, the Ram and the Jackal – South Africa

The Ram and the Pig Who Set Up House - Norway

The Wolves, the Sheep and the Lamb – Aesop


The Dog, the Goat and the Donkey – Ethiopia

The Goat-Face Girl – Andrew Lang

The Lad With the Goat Skin - Celtic

The Sheep, the Goat and the Dog – Chad

Three Billy Goat’s Gruff – Three versions: Norway, Poland, Germany

When the Hyena and the Billy Goat Signed a Peace Treaty – Chad


A number of easy, preschool sheep/lamb crafts and activities.


Danielle’s Place


First School – Preschool goat themed activities.
Sheep and Lamb


The Chinese New Year ends with the Lantern Festival, celebrated at night with displays and parades of painted lanterns. The highlight of the Lantern Festival is the Dragon Dance. Beautiful dragons made of paper, silk and bamboo are held overhead, and appear to dance as they make their way along the parade routes. Dragons - Mythical, Mystical, Magical Creatures! – Here is a previous blog post filled with dragon tails, curriculum, crafts and more to augment your Chinese New Year celebration. 

Below are previous blog posts I wrote for the Chinese New Year. You will find useful background information to augment your Chinese New Year programs.

Year of the Horse

Year of the Snake

Year of the Tiger 

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Last year I wrote a blog for the end of March: March Goes Out  Like a Lamb. Since lambs are baby sheep I thought you might find something to add to your Chinese New Year Program here.

Karen Chace 2014 ©
This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.

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