Celebrating The Year of the Horse

Here at The Reader Organisation we’re looking forward to celebrating the Chinese New Year this coming weekend. Today, Friday 31st January 2014 marks the Year of the Wood Horse, the seventh cycle of the Chinese Zodiac.

So, if you were born in the year of the horse, this year’s your year. But what can we expect from the characteristics of the horse? They hold a very positive outlook on life and know how to put people at ease with their friendly, welcoming manner and great sense of humour. Interestingly, the horse represents creativity, a quality that here at The Reader we think is very important and should be encouraged. There’s no better year then it seems to take on new creative pursuits, whether it be reading, writing or even a new craft such as knitting or crochet. Samuel Beckett (1906), Alice Munro (1931) and Hanif Kureishi (1954) are just a few of our favourite authors born in the year of the horse.

A text that springs immediately to mind when thinking about the role of horses in literature is the classic Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Poignantly, the first time she meets her beloved Mr. Rochester he appears through the mist on his powerful horse in this mysterious passage:

‘As this horse approached, and as I watched for it to appear through the dusk, I remembered certain of Bessie’s tales, wherein figured a North-of-England spirit called a “Gytrash,” which, in the form of horse, mule, or large dog, haunted solitary ways, and sometimes came upon belated travellers, as this horse was now coming upon me’.

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

The mythical and magical nature of horses then have been both part of English culture as well as Chinese.

Liverpool’s Chinatown have a whole host of exciting celebrations in store this weekend across the city to celebrate the year of the horse including Chinese street food market, Thai Chi demonstrations, Fire cracker displays and Lion, Dragon and Unicorn street parades. For further information about these celebrations visit It’sLiverpool

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