Three Chinese New Year GoatsDuring the Chinese New Year of Sheep, we often see the Chinese painting or writing about three goats or sheep. The title is San-Yang-Kai-Tai Three Sheep Auspicious Begin, which means "Three Goats Start Peace with Fortune". The meaning behind this is from Chinese Stem-Branch calendar and the Book of Changes (I-Ching).


The formal writing of San-Yang-Kai-Tai is Three Yang Auspicious Begin. Chinese Character Three is three. Chinese Yang Character is Yang, which is the Yang of Yin-Yang. Chinese Character Start Kai is to start. Chinese Character Tai Tai is the name of an I-Ching Hexagram. Chinese Character Tai means peace. Chinese Character Tai is also connected to Tiger month (February), which is the first month in the Chinese calendar. Chinese Goat Chinese Sheep Character is a homophone for Yang Chinese Yang Character. Chinese replace Chinese Yang Character by Chinese Sheep Character, and it becomes Three Sheep Auspicious Begin, which becomes a famous and popular phase of "An Auspicious Start to the New Year".


I-Ching is a Chinese Yin Yang philosophy. It states the natural phenomena of our universe, then applies it on people relationships in the family, organization, government and the nation. The nature rule of the universe (Dao) is Yin and Yang. 


I-Ching uses the symbol of broken bar Yin Bar as Yin and the solid bar Yang Bar as Yang. Yin is female, cold, earth or down. Yang is male, hot, sky or up. In the morning, sky is hot and ground is still cold. The Little Yang Little Yin is assigned during this time. At noon, sky and ground are hot, which is Big Yang Big Yang. In the evening, sky is cold and ground is still hot, which is Little Yin Little Yin. At night, both sky and ground are cold, which is Old Yin is Big Yin. Human live between sky and ground. By adding a human layer with Yin and Yang on those four symbols, they become Eight Trigrams (Ba Kua), which are Kua  Sky Sky, Kua  Lake Lake, Kua  Fire Fire, Kua  Thunder Thunder, Kua  Wind Wind, Kua  Water Water, Kua  Hill Mountain, Kua  Earth Earth. That's natural phenomena in human's eyes. Combining two trigrams together, they become I Ching 64 Hexagrams.


One hexagram has 6 bars. When applying Yin and Yang on them, we have 12 hexagrams standing for 12 months. The first Yang (red bar) grows from the ground in December. January has two Yang on the ground. February has three Yang on the ground.  Full six Yang is in May. The first Yin grows in June. Full Yin is in the November.


Month Hexagrams Yin and Yang Month Name
December Hexagram December 1 Yang Rat
January Hexagram January 2 Yang Cow
February Hexagram Earth-Sky 3 Yang Tiger
March Hexagram March 4 Yang Rabbit
April Hexagram April 5 Yang Dragon
May Hexagram May Full Yang Snake
June Hexagram June 1 Yin Horse
July Hexagram Sky-Mountain 2 Yin Sheep
August Hexagram Sky-Earth 3 Yin Monkey
September Hexagram September 4 Yin Chicken
October Hexagram October 5 Yin Dog
November Hexagram November Full Yin Pig


The hexagrams Hexagram Earth-Sky combines Earth Kua Earth on the top and Sky Kua Sky in the ground. The name of  Hexagram Earth-Sky is Chinese Character Tai Tai. The time is the Tiger Month, which starts around on February 4 each year. Chinese Lunar New Year usually is near on the first day of Tiger month. Chinese Character Three three also imply "a large number". Three Sheep Auspicious Begin means lots of Yang energy bring up auspicious, cordial and tranquil atmosphere in new year.

2015 Chinese Horoscope Year of Sheep  2015 Year of Sheep Astrology   12 Chinese Zodiacs for 2015 Sheep 

Chinese New Year at Forbidden City  Chinese New Year Boy and Girl  Chinese New Year Street Market

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