Is It the Year of the Sheep or Goat?
Actually, Chinese people are also not quite sure about that. In Chinese the word yáng is a generic term, and can refer to a sheep, goat, ram/buck (male sheep or goat),etc. There is a lack of clear definition on the zodiac “Goat” in Chinese history. However, most Chinese people and experts on folklore believe that the Chinese zodiac animal is the Goat, not the Sheep, and they have some evidence to support their idea.
Firstly, the Chinese zodiac is an invention of the Han Nationality, and goats were widely raised by the Han people (unlike sheep), so the zodiac animal is more likely to refer to a goat.
Secondly, a Goat image often appears on Chinese zodiac stamps, New Year paper cuttings, and New Year paintings (not a sheep).
Thirdly, the Goat was one of the 12 bronze statues of the Chinese zodiac at the Old Summer Palace. Although its head was lost, its present reproduction according to historical records is the image of a goat.
People born in a year of the Goat are generally believed to be gentle mild-mannered, shy, stable, sympathetic, amicable, and brimming with a strong sense of kindheartedness and justice. They have very delicate thoughts, strong creativity, and perseverance, and acquire professional skills well. Although they look gentle on the surface, they are tough on the inside, always insisting on their own opinions in their minds. They have strong inner resilience and excellent defensive instincts. Though they prefer to be in groups, they do not want to be the center of attention. They are reserved and quiet, most likely because they like spending much time in their thoughts. Goats like to spend money on fashionable things that give them a first class appearance. Although goats enjoy spending money on the finer things in life, they are not snobbish.