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Happy Chinese New Year - Year of the Sheep

February 25, 2015
Sheep statue.

Hello everybody,

It has been a long time. I hope you all had a very happy Chinese new year of the sheep. Yep, you heard me, I said SHEEP. There are a lot of articles on the internet about how confused everybody is about the Chinese zodiac signs, especially for this year. Is it the year of the sheep? Is it the goat? Or is it the ram? After a heated discussion with my friend who is working in archaeology, he told me the sheep was the first domesticated animal of that family in China. They discovered a 4,000 year old sheep fossil. And, most of the related sculptures and paintings from that time have the appearance of a sheep. So, sheep it is. Please check out the picture I took in Chinese National Museum in Beijing. It’s a vessel from Shang dynasty 1400~1100 BC. Does it look like sheep to you? It does to me.

The traditional way of celebrating New Year in China is pretty complicated but you can summarize everything with one word, RED. Red lanterns, red fireworks, red clothes, red gift bags, basically everything is red. According to the old Chinese myths, the color red can scare off the evil monsters which like to come out and do bad things around New Year’s.

This is already the 6th month of my Dairy Career Development Program and the 4th month since I arrived on the DFI farm. During the last 4 months here I have been blessed to work with so many dedicated and experienced people in the farm. One of the most important things I learned about working on a farm is that there is no day off. Weekend, Christmas, New Year’s, Chinese New Year et cetera. As long as there are cows inside, there’s no break. So I believe it’s more important to love the job one is doing than any other industry. Lucky for me I love what I am doing so when they said “Han, tomorrow (New Year) let’s clean the calf barn and put out some new bedding for them.” I said OK almost automatically. After hours of work in the winter wind, the calves can lay on the new clean dry comfy bed through the New Year holiday now.

This is it, see you next time.