Horses, not Broncos, bring in New Year

Horses, not Broncos, bring in New Year

Barbara Lawlor

There aren’t many bad things one can say about a horse. Mostly, horses are adored by pre-adolescent girls, admired by donkeys, needed by ranchers, and read about, written about, and photographed.
They epitomize the freedom and wildness of the West. And this year, the horse is honored as the Chinese New Year is celebrated. Millions of Chinese people celebrated with feasts, exchanging of coins, and dances through the streets.
The Chinese New Year does not coincide with the Gregorian calendar New Year. Custom dictates that the winter solstice falls on the 11th month, so their lunar new year begins on the second new moon after that, between January 21 and February 20.
This year the New Year party took place on Friday, January 31, and Nederland residents joined in on the fun at their now-traditional dinner at the Nederland Community Center. Dozens of people showed up to relish Susan Churches’ most excellent spring rolls and all the side dishes that showed up.
Tai Chi instructor James Churches welcomed the visitors and  told them a little about this year’s New Year. According to Chinese lore, the Year of the Horse will be a yin fire year, action packed and full of conflicts. As the year dwindles, the potential increases for heated clashes.
But it is also a yang wood year, when people stick more to their principles and stand firm. There will be more tendencies for people to fight for their ideals. Businesses involving wood and fire will do well. Metals and waters will do badly.
The Year of the Horse will feature fast victories, unexpected adventure, and surprising romance. A good year for going to faraway places. It is a year for decisive action—acting fast, but not galloping off in an unknown direction.
The Horse years occurred in 1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, and 2014. Those born in those years are bright, cheerful, popular, and fun-loving. They find people exciting and love parties. Their sunny disposition and natural charm attract many friends. Horses are intuitive and so are the people born in a horse year.
Horses need room. Rules and fences cause rebellion. There are no hidden agendas. This is the time for issues to be out in the open, especially with family members.
Churches told the gathering that this is the year that should work out well for the Broncos, offensively. He didn’t mention the defensive part of the mix. Horse doesn’t care about money and budgets and might be tempted to overspend. Tigers, dogs, and sheep benefit the most from the Horse’s strong and spirited actions.
After the welcome and warning, Churches and his son Sam gave a Tai Chi demonstration and then the group formed a circle where they practiced the moves themselves. In that circle they gathered up the negative forces of the past year and let them go into the universe. After exhaling evil, the group breathed in the good things of the world and brought them into the meeting room at the community center.
Susan passed out the traditional coins of the year and each recipient bowed and received the gift.
When everyone had finished their cake and ice cream, they wrapped up in scarves and jackets and went outside, while Churches lit the traditional firecrackers that probably woke up half of Nederland.
And with that, the celebration of the New Year, the Year of the Horse, ended and everyone trotted or galloped home.

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.

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