Lunar New Year: Year of the Goat predictions

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Happy Chinese New Year!

Time to bid goodbye to the year of the horse, and say nin hao to the year of the goat. Or ram. Or sheep.

In Mandarin the symbol yang means 'horned animal' and covers all three of those animals, so no one is really sure which it is meant to be.

Year of the goat is the phrase that's been trending on Twitter.

Scroll down to the bottom to find out your personal forecast for the year

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionIt's the Year of the Goat!

Chinese tradition assigns a different animal to each year in a 12 year cycle.

The animals of the zodiac include horses, goats, rabbits, rats and dragons. Each mean something different in Chinese astrology.

At this time of year, astrologers forecast what the year of the goat may mean for world events and how we can apply 'goaty' traits to our lives.

Jan Cisek is a Feng Shui expert. He says Chinese astrology is interesting because its concepts are unique and let us look at life from a different perspective.

He told Newsbeat that the Chinese "are very practical people and they've developed a simple, easy to understand astrological system that works with archetypal energies of animals."

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image captionIt's Chinese New Year

This means that the year of the goat takes its characteristics from what goats are like.

"Consider some of the goat qualities: curiosity, sturdiness, endurance, independence." says Jan.

"Goats love to climb, representing progress and achievement.

"Goats will move around a lot and can 'reach those places other animals can't reach' (just think of them balancing at impossible angles and elevations on cliffs and mountain tops).

"Goats approach a precipice with ease and enthusiasm."

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image captionThe year of the goat is about patient determination

According to Jan, this means that the year of the goat is about taking a new and fresh perspective on life.

"It is also about developing determination, persistence and patience," he says.

According to Chinese astrology the universe is made up of two forces, yin and yang. While yang is an active positive force, yin is passive and negative.

The goat is a yin animal as opposed to a yang animal like a horse.

The year of the goat combines with one of five elements: wood, water, fire, earth, and metal.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe goat is passive in Chinese astrology

This year is a Wood Goat year.

Because of the passive nature of the goat, some astrologers are predicting a more peaceful 2015.

Feng Shui adviser Jackie Notman says :"It's quite possible that conflicts around the world, even long standing ones, will finally resort to peace negotiations. The Wood element, although volatile this year, is calmed by the yin quality of the sheep [or Goat] giving it flexibility and the motivation to find solutions."

Success in a Wood Goat year is achieved by taking a calm yet determined stance. Patience is key.

Jackie says that the last wood goat year was 1955. This was the year that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white man in Alabama. Her subsequent arrest gave momentum to the Civil Rights movement in the USA.

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image captionThink strategically in a goat year

People are advised to listen and think strategically in a Wood Goat year, rather than rushing ahead.

However the date you were born plays a part in what a Wood Goat year could mean for you.

Every person is assigned a different animal depending on their birth date, and this interacts with the year of the goat to make the prediction for the year ahead.

Feng Shui consultant Ting-Foon Chik has compiled a prediction for every animal. So first find out which one you are.

image copyrightFelicity Morse
image captionThe year you were born determines what the year ahead will hold, according to Chinese Astrology

Rat

image copyrightJuniors Tierbildarchiv/Photoshot
image captionYou'll have a calmer year if you're a rat.

Be flexible and when you encounter problems, change your plan.

Count yourself lucky that there was at least an early warning.

This year should be calmer than last year.

Ox

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionLot of change for you if you're an ox.

You're going to have an exciting year with a 'bolt from the blue'.

Try and feel excited about these changes rather than resisting them.

Tiger

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image captionNot everyone is going to agree with you this year if you're a tiger

Don't be surprised when people don't agree with you on certain things. Ting-Foon Chik says "It is not that your logic is flawed. It is because they expect you to put in a bit more effort to convince them. Your Tiger personality relishes a challenge, and you can find a way of winning over those who are reluctant to accept your point of view. Be prepared to try a few different tactics."

Rabbit

image captionMake sure you're not the only one rushing around

Time to make sure you're not the only one doing all the work.

Ask for other people to chip in and pull their weight too.

Ting-Foon Chik says: "When everybody understands what needs to be done, you can head in the right direction. Take time to explain who is doing what and the reasons why."

Dragon

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image captionWatch out dragons

Don't be complacent.

You might not realise it but there could be things going on behind you back.

Ting-Foon Chik says: "Keep an eye on those who act as if they are not doing anything much, for they might be surreptitiously plotting and planning. "

Snake

image captionPersevere

You're nearly there, but you need to keep at it.

Ask for a bit of help from others if you need it. Ting-Foon Chik says: "It's when you feel you are nearly there that you need to step up the pace.

"There are those who are willing to give you some backing when you explain your objectives."

Horse

image captionStop rushing around and let things come to you

Calm down and stop doing all the running.

Ting-Foon Chik says "Instead of chasing after what you want, stand still for a while and see if things come to you.

"The opportunities that come knocking on your door might not be the ones you were expecting, but you might have missed them if you had been out dashing around and pushing against doors that remain firmly closed."

Goat

image captionTake a look in the mirror goats

Get to know yourself this year.

Make sure you truly want something before you go chasing it.

Ting-Foon Chik says "The goat has been known to climb the next mountain just because it is there."

Monkey

image captionActions speak louder than words monkeys

Judge people by what they do not what they say.

A person who seems reluctant will surprise you.

Rooster

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image captionMight be time to appreciate what you have rooster

You are particular about details and why you like things the way you do. You're not ashamed about that.

Yet this year when you observe the same thing in other people you feel they are missing out. Try and appreciate things for what they are this year.

Dog

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image captionBroaden your mind dog

Time to get out and meet some different people.

Ting-Foon Chik says "Those with a different mind-set from your own might help you broaden your horizons. "

Pig

image copyrightRSPCA

You're going to meet some people you think lack common sense this year.

Ting-Foon Chik says "You can appreciate that they are being highly imaginative, yet you know you need to help them understand some of the practicalities." She advises confronting them with hard facts.

image copyrightReuters
image copyrightReuters

Whether or not these predictions come true, Chinese New Year is a time for celebration and family. So take some time out, be merry and may 2015 be a prosperous New Year for you! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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