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Chinese New Year: Year of the Horse

Many of us are familiar with Western astrology. If someone asks what our sign is, we probably know whether we’re a Gemini, Capricorn, Scorpio or another of the twelve zodiac signs. But you may not be as familiar with a different type of zodiac: the Chinese zodiac. The end of this week marks the start of the Chinese New Year celebration--and the beginning of the Year of the Horse.

The Chinese zodiac follows a 12-year cycle in which each year is associated with an animal. Depending on the year you were born, your zodiac sign could be a rat, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, chicken, dog or pig.

No one knows the true origin of the Chinese zodiac, but one story says that the Jade Emperor hosted a contest among the animals. The first 12 animals to show up would be forever immortalized as the 12 spots of the zodiac. Back then, the cat and the rat were actually neighbors and very good friends. The cat usually overslept, so he asked the rat to promise to wake him up in the morning so that they would be the first to arrive. The rat agreed, but he was so excited the next morning that he ran off as quickly as he could and arrived first in line. By the time the cat woke up, he was too late; all 12 animals had already been chosen. Legend has it that this is the reason why cats chase mice.

With the Chinese New Year upon us, we are about to enter into the Year of the Horse, a favorite among Chinese astrologers. According to the zodiac, people born during the Year of the Horse are competitive and hardworking in the areas of freedom, passion and leadership. Celebrities born in the Year of the Horse include: Kobe Bryant, Kristen Stewart, Josh Hartnett, Emma Watson, Ashton Kutcher, Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta, Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Biggs, Harrison Ford, Denzel Washington and Cindy Crawford.

Your astrological forecast* depends on how your zodiac sign interacts with the horse. Check out the animals below to see what 2014 looks like for you based on Eastern astrology.

* The forecasts included in this post are for entertainment purposes only.

Rat (born on or after February 4,1996)

Unfortunately for all of those born in the Year of the Rat, Horse doesn’t like Rat at all. Rat’s strongest element is water, which often extinguishes Horse’s element of fire. Because these elements clash so much, 2014 could be a struggle for you in every aspect: school, money, love and health. This is no time to sit back and take the easy way out. You’re going to have to give your all to overcome the hardships and make this year a positive one.

Cow (born on or after February 4, 1997)

Humans tend to treat horses better than cows, which is why these animals do not get along well. These next 12 months will be difficult for those born in the Year of the Cow. Be especially cautious about your health and money. The good news: If you focus your energy on school and your future career, good things will happen. The same goes for any relationships you build.

Tiger (born on or after February 4, 1998)

Because Horse is based on fire, and Tiger is rooted with wood—which makes fire burn brighter—these two animals get along well. This means a good year for you is ahead! However, you will need to do your best to not let your success go to your head. Your good luck might become a misfortune when enemies try to catch you off-guard.

Rabbit (born on or after February 4, 1999)

The Year of the Horse looks to be a great year for Rabbit as Horse helps to inspire potential, creativity and courage. This year will be full of academic and career development, but the most successful stories will involve your relationships with your friends and family. This will be a great time to get further involved with social activities and make new friends.

Dragon (born on or after February 4, 2000)

Since Dragon flies and Horse lives on the ground, these two animals have very little in common. They both strive to be leaders in their own ways, and it is very unlikely that they will become friends. Because of this, it will be a hard year for Dragons, particularly in academic and health-related areas. However, your relationships and money might be on the upswing.

Regardless of what your zodiac has in store for you, now is the perfect time to give 2014 your all. Go out of your way to start new friendships and make the most of the relationships that you already have. Start off strong—and finish this year full of satisfaction, not regret.

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