Year of the Sheep

Taoist Arts Center New York:
Chinese Philosophy

On these pages you will find articles and research on the healing effects of Tai Chi, Chi Kung (qigong), Taoist Meditation, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Doctors and medical researchers continue to investigate the effects of these arts on conditions including diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, pain, and stress management. This page presents a selection of health articles along with others on Chinese philosophy and culture.

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Chinese Philosophy

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Gong hay fat choy! Happy New Year.

The Year of the Sheep begins February, 19, 2015

The gentle Sheep brings relief, reflection and success. It is a time to heal after the chaos of 2014 and reap the benefits of your hard work. It is a time for intimacy, family and close relationships: a chance to be kind and sensitive and for acceptance and love: a time for art, creativity and the cultivation of beauty. Because of its desirable 8th place in the Chinese zodiac and the association of green with trees, growth and spring, the Green Sheep year is considered particularly auspicious. Its mantra is steady progress, generosity and peace.

Sheep People are creative and elegant. They are generous, caring and loyal, naturally friendly and empathic. They are good listeners who can remain neutral in disputes and have a deep easily touched kindness. Sheep prefer to be in groups and are happiest when those around them are, too. They have deep friendships and can count on them when things are tough. The sheep is also called the goat, or the ram. Sturdy goats bring opportunity and success, rams, diligence and prosperity, sheep happiness and peace and are considered aspects of the same idea.

People born in the Year of the Sheep (1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 or 2015) Mark Twain, Rachel Carson, Orville Wright, Chow Yun-Fat,  Michelangelo, Julia Roberts, James Stewart, George Burns and Grandma Moses.

New Year is  one of the most important holidays in China. It lasts 2 weeks; friends and relatives are visited and festivities abound: there are parades with Lion dances and firecracker displays - and favorite foods to end the day.

The Lion Dance has its roots in antiquity yet is still performed today. In this dance an enormous Lion puppet, manned by two martial artists, marches, slinks and cavorts through the streets to the accompaniment of rhythmic drumming, noise and firecrackers in a parade that simultaneously brings good fortune and frightens evil spirits. The dance combines art, history, acrobatics and martial arts. Each move and mannerism is choreographed, every color is symbolic. Students practice for the entire year and compete for the privilege of being a Lion Dancer. To this day Lion Dances are performed wherever people celebrate the Lunar New Year and although they have changed with the centuries, their fundamental nature remains the same.

Another thing that has retained its essence while changing with the times is the Chinese proverb “Three sheep bring harmony and prosperity" which has been turned into a texting meme for the younger generation - and the ancient phrase is sent from phone to phone - with three sheep emoji as their message.

Here are some Lunar New Year events in New York City.

Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival
This celebration wards off evil spirits of the past and welcomes the arrival of the New Year with firecrackers, rockets and lion dances. There are dragon and unicorn performances, drumming and traditional Chinese New Year items for sale. After the Firecracker Ceremony there will be a parade through the streets of Chinatown.
Date: Thursday,  11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m February 19, 2015. Free.
Roosevelt Park (between Grand & Hester Streets)
Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival
Ring in the Year of the Sheep at the 16th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival expect crowds, food vendors, traditional lion and dragon dances, costumes, floats and multicolored confetti. The parade will start at Mott Street and march through Chinatown. 5,000 people are expected to attend.
Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 1 p.m. Free.
Mott/Hester Streets
Chinese New Year with Yo-Yo Ma
Celebrate the Year of the Sheep with Yo-Yo Ma, the Philharmonic, and music from East to West, including the U.S. Premiere of the Zhao Lin Duo — A Concert for Cello and Sheng, a Chinese woodwind instrument with 17 bamboo pipes.
Tuesday, Feb, 24, 2015 - 7:30 PM
Avery Fisher Hall - Tickets: $45. - $145.
Lunar New Year Celebration in Flushing, Queens
The Annual Lunar New Year Parade is the highlight of the Chinese New Year celebrations in Flushing. Look for dragon dancers, steel drummers, and fireworks. The parade will be joined by Korean and other East-Asian groups. Expect lots of energy and enthusiasm in this parade which draws about 4,000 people each year
Saturday, February 21, 2015, Parade 11 a.m.
Flushing Library, Main Street and Kissena Blvd.

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