Happy Year of the Horse!

ferrebeekeeper

year-of-horse-zodiac_1389986758

Happy Chinese New Year! Last year was the reptilian year of the snake, but this year things get all mammalian again—and what a magnificent mammal! Lunar Year 4711 is the year of the horse!

Ferrebeekeeper has shied away from writing about horses because the majestic animals have played such an important role in military and economic history (also I don’t want a bunch of patricians shouting at me about the finer details of fetlocks and snaffle bits), but, since it is now the year of the horse, I would be remiss not to post some equine highlights from those 4711 years of Chinese culture. Horses were (probably) domesticated in next door Kazakhstan about five thousand years ago, and they have had an unparalleled position in Chinese culture.  Not only is Chinese mythology replete with horses, throughout the entire history of the Han people, the great perissodactyls have been pivotal…

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