Happy New Year of the Lamb!
A friend of mine recently returned from a trip to Japan and brought me a tiny ceramic animal. I was puzzled until she told me that 2015 was the Year of the Lamb.
She claimed that these "lambs" were all over Asia and she wanted to make sure she brought back something for her Lamb friends (and she must have remembered that I was two years older than her). That reminded me that my brother, who is two years younger than me and thus the same year as my friend, was a "Chicken." I said, "So, your year will be in two years, the year of the Chicken." She quickly corrected me: "Rooster," she said.
I can see why someone might decide that she would prefer to belong to the Year of the Rooster--with its connotations of heralding a new day--rather than to the Year of the Chicken--the least interesting meat, a flightless bird, and an epithet associated with being timid and uncourageous. Then I recalled that most iconography depicting the Chinese zodiac years have multiple names, depending on which Chinese restaurant place mat you are looking at. In many signage, the "Lamb" is actually a "Ram." Vast difference.
In my case though, I think I prefer the less robust version. I don't need to be associated with oversized trucks and overrun masculinity. Instead, I'd always enjoyed the vision my mother put forth before me. She said that a Lamb having a summer birthday represented great good luck because lambs could frolic and rest and enjoy fresh grass during the summer. She promised peace, tranquility, prosperity.
Peace, Tranquility, and Prosperity for all!