China’s Year of the Horse is expected to cause a baby boom in the country, with pressure piled on parents to produce offspring born under the seventh Chinese zodiac sign.
The Chinese zodiac comprises 12 animal signs, with the horse a symbol of nobility, class, speed and perseverance. People born in the Year of the Horse are said to be smart and good orators gifted at communicating. People bearing the horse sign strive towards seeking freedom and happiness.
Contrast that with the Year of the Sheep, which starts on February 19, 2015. Although the sign symbolises caring and compassion, many are afraid those born under the sheep will prove too weak for a cruel, unforgiving world.
Beijing woman Guo Dongdong, 30, who is five months pregnant, told the International Business Times that: “My parents-in-law didn’t explicitly say that they didn’t want a grandson or granddaughter born in the Year of the Sheep, but they dropped plenty of hints. The saying in our hometown is that girls born in that year turn their families poor.”
There is great competition to register at the Beijing Hostpital in order to give birth there.
The newspaper also reported that there was a boom in 2010 when it was the Year of the Dragon, with the Beijing Health Bureau stastics showing a five-year peak and Shanghai reporting about 5000 extra births.