On Saturday, February 8th, Jacksonville, Oregon exploded in celebration with the bringing in of the 2014 Chinese new year, which was organized by the Southern Oregon Chinese Cultural Association (SOCCA).
According to SOCCA’s website, their goal as an organization is to“facilitate an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the Chinese culture by engaging the community in dialogue, and providing activities that promote understanding and respect.” This is in part why the organization puts together the Chinese new year event each year.
In the Chinese zodiac 2014 will be the year of the horse, which will last from from now till February of 2015.
The day of celebration started at 8:00am with a “Galloping 5k Fun Run” through the town, and later transitioned into a “traditional” Chinese new year parade.
The parade ran down Jacksonville’s main street, California street, and had various types of literal and figurative representations of this years Chinese zodiac animal.The parade had large horses “clomping” their way through the downtown area, and colorful paper puppets of the Chinese zodiac fluttering in a unified formation. There was a large amount of paper lanterns and other decorations that were hung on the historical buildings of Jacksonville, giving the town some extra cultural character in celebration.
Throughout the parade other various cultures were also celebrated: Hispanic, Scottish, German and native pacific islander to name a few.
After the parade there various events that were hosted throughout the town. These events included a Chinese calligraphy demonstration, Chinese astrology seminar and a traditional cooking demonstration to name a few. There were also crafts, games and a bouncy house set up for the children as well, so there was catering to a wide range of different age groups.
In Chinese legend, the zodiac animals came to be on the idea that the emperor Jade promised that the first 12 animals to make it across a specific river would get a year in the zodiac calender named after them, and that the order of the zodiac would be based on what they placed crossing the river. The horse according to legend finishing seventh. Though sometimes legend differs between people, all stories have had the same basic idea associated with it. Legend also talks about the cat who sadly fell short of getting a spot in the zodiac by finishing 13th.
In terms of the personality of the horse, they have been said to have the qualities of being rather flexible, loyal and good at solving conflict, and are said to be the most compatible with the Tiger, Sheep and Dog. Horses ideally less desirable traits is that they tend to hot-blood and impulsive, which could potentially get them into trouble really quick. In terms of careers, horse tend to do well as politicians, explorers, professors, advertising and sales.
Ideally this will be a good year for people born in the year of the horse to take a risk in something like business, because luck and prosperity is projected to follow those who’s zodiac sign falls within this current year.