Subscribe Now

travelers today

Home » News

Why You Shouldn’t Hitch Your Wagon to Predictions for the Year of the Horse

Travelers Today       By    Ken Stone

Updated: Jan 31, 2014 07:56 AM EST

Text Size: A A A

Tags
year of the horse, chinese new year, Prophesies, Forecasts
Year of the Horse 2014
Graphic depiction of the Chinese Year of the Horse, which begins Jan. 31 — or Feb. 4 under a different system.(Photo : eWallpaper)

The only safe prediction for the Year of the Horse beginning Jan. 31 (or Feb. 4 if you're a stickler) is that Google will feature an animated rocking horse.

In fact, Asian country users saw that on their Google homepage Thursday. Americans have to wait.

But if you're a stickler for reason, you might Google "Chinese astrology skeptics" and click "I'm Feeling Lucky."

Up pops the Skeptic's Dictionary, which dismisses astrology - the basis for Chinese New Year forecasts - as "probably the most widely practiced superstition and most popular Tooth Fairy science in the world today."

Share This Story

If you're not among the billions riding the Year of the Horse craze, you're in luck!

Here are five reasons why Chinese astrology isn't a good bet for things like picking a Super Bowl winner (sorry, Broncos fans).

1, The Chinese lunisolar calendar has changed more often than Lady Gaga's costumes.

Math Professor Helmer Aslaksen of the National University of Singapore documented how the Jesuits in 1645 forced a change in the Chinese calendar "to demonstrate their superiority over the Chinese and Muslim astronomers."

Their work led to inclusion of fake leap months in the calendar.

"Fake leap months is still causing controversy in the Chinese calendar," Aslaksen wrote in a seven-page treatise. "Up until the early 1990s all Chinese calendars had the wrong leap month for 2033!"

2. Millions of Chinese women swear in vain by a pregnancy calendar.

Legend has it that a 900-year-old astrological chart was unearthed from a royal tomb.

The chart invites you to plug in the mom's age, month of conception and see if the baby-to-be will be pink (a girl) or blue (a boy).

But according to a skeptics' message board, "The real odds of this chart are 50 percent - the same as all the other outside-the-genetic-laboratory sex selection techniques."

3. Chinese born in the "wrong" year face social and economic hardship.

"Perhaps the worst case of the discriminatory zodiac phenomenon is that of the 'Fire Horse Women,' meaning women born in the Year of the Horse, when Fire is the dominant element," says the RationalWiki. 

Horse personalities, the site says, are usually thought to be independent and outgoing, "but under the Fire element this turns to unruliness and arrogance. Girls born under this combination are believed to be particularly unlucky, and to bring ruin on their family, as well as their husband (if they are able to find one)."

Birth rates reportedly dropped dramatically in China, Korea and Japan in the last Fire Horse year, leading to higher abortion rates, and "evidence indicating increased rates of female infanticide."

4. Christians are urged against placing their faith in Horse forecasts

An evangelical site is critical of the belief that "the animal ruling a person's birth year exercises a profound influence on his or her life."

Even if those born in the Year of the Horse are deemed "cheerful, popular, and love to compliment others," the site says, "these religious horoscopes ... are dangerous superstitions."

The Bible condemns the practice of astrology (Isaiah 47:12-13). Depending on the translation, Christians are snarkily warned to ignore such Babylonian beliefs: "Let now the astrologers, the star-gazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up and save thee from the things that shall come upon thee."

5. And if you take the Year of the Horse literally, count on newspapers making a comeback!

You'll do well if your business involves wood or fire, according to Canadian Feng Shui expert Paul Ng. This includes lumber companies, agriculture and media companies. Yes, he included dead-tree media among them.

Forecasts beg the obvious - especially on how the superwealthy will do.

The "intelligence firm" Wealth-X says with hyperspecificity: "The Chinese private jet market for [the super-rich] will grow by 30 percent in 2014."

That might be a flying leap of faith but Professor Aslaksen, in his "fake leap month" analysis, noted that not even the learned Jesuits are safe from overreach.

Their plan backfired, he wrote.

"The appearance of fake leap months in the calendar was one of the reasons why they were thrown into jail in 1664."

© 2015 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join Our Conversation

Travel Tips

Lima, Peru

A Travel Guide to Peru: Things to Know

Peru is a cultural hub filled with unique sights to see, amazing cuisine, a plethora of activities, and is definitely somewhere worth putting on your travel bucket list, but there are a few things to know before planning your trip.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest travel news, reviews, and more..

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

20 sleeping dam workers were killed Balochistan, Pakistan

Dam Workers Killed: 20 Sleeping Workers Gunned By 40 Men In Pakistan

Dam Workers Killed – Early Saturday, gunmen in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province shot and killed at least 20 sleeping workers, while wounding three at a dam construction site. The attack which had the dam workers killed is now considered the deadliest attack in recent times which targeted civilians in a region with low-level insurgency.

Disturbing video shows horse thief being beaten by police in California

Horse Thief Beaten By Police: Shocking Footage Shows 11 Officers Brutally Beating Thief, Gets Internal Investigation

Horse Thief Beaten By Police – A video showing more than ten deputies beating and kicking a suspected horse thief is making headlines. The footage of the showing the horse thief beaten by police has been recorded by an NBC Los Angeles helicopter Thursday, and it lasts for about two minutes.

Six Thais, one Italian injured in car bomb blast on Thailand's Samui island

Thailand Car Bomb Explosion: Injures 7 In Popular Resort Island, Act Of Islamic Insurgency?

Thailand Car Bomb Explosion – On Friday, a bomb exploded at the Central Festival shopping mall in Samui Island in Surat Thani province, one of the country’s popular resort islands. The Thailand car bomb explosion, which went off in the basement of the mall after a fashion show at 11:30 p.m., injured seven people, according to authorities.

7 died in a plane crash near Bloomington, IL while returning home from NCAA championship game

Bloomington, Il Plane Crash: 7 Dead While Returning From NCAA Tournament, NTSB Investigating

Bloomington, Il Plane Crash – Seven people died after a small plane crash in McLean County, Illinois, near the Bloomington airport Tuesday while on its way home from the NCAA basketball tournament in Indianapolis. Authorities said that two members of Illinois State University's athletic department were amongst those killed in the Bloomington, Il plane crash.

Dozens arrested as violence erupts at Kentucky's basketball celebration

Lexington Fans Arrested: Wildcat Fans Rampage Over Loss, 31 Arrests Made

Lexington Fans Arrested – Following the loss of Wildcats to the Badgers, a number of Wildcat fans were left bewildered over the loss. However, some fans were quite enraged that they took their rage literally with a number of fires spread in the University of Kentucky’s Lexington Campus.

Caribbean Beach

Delaware Family Pesticide: Family In Critical Condition Following Alleged Pesticide Poisoning At Caribbean Resort

Delaware Family Pesticide – What should have been a safe and enjoyable Caribbean getaway turned out to be a deadly one. A family from Delaware is in serious condition following an alleged pesticide poisoning at the Sirenusa Resort on St. John in the US Virgin Islands.

75,000 Solar Workers To Be Trained By 2020, Says Obama

75,000 Solar Workers: To Be Trained By 2020, Says Obama

75,000 solar workers will now be trained due to a new initiative to expand the nation’s solar industry workforce. The launch of the 75,000 solar workers initiative was made by President Obama during a visit to Utah’s Hill Air Force Base on Friday, according to the Washington Post.

Hundreds of fishermen rescued following Indonesian slavery probe

Hundreds Of Fishermen: Rescued From Slavery In Indonesia, Tasered, Beaten, Whipped With Stingray Tails, Forced To Catch Fish For Western Restaurants?

Hundreds of fishermen rescued Friday from an isolated Indonesian island occurred after an investigation by the Associated Press investigation revealed the workers were enslaved to catch seafood possibly ending up in Western restaurants.

U.S. Navy alarmed at Beijing’s ‘Great Wall of sand’ in South China Sea

China’s Great Wall Of Sand In South China Sea, Why Is U.S. Navy Alarmed?

Great Wall Of Sand – China has been building a “Great Wall of sand” with the use of an unparalleled program of land reclamation in the South China Sea. Because of this great wall of sand, many are having "serious questions" about the country’s intentions for it, according to the BBC.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2015 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics