Year of the Goat begins with a bang

The Chinese New Year started off with hundreds of members of Philadelphia’s Chinese community and curiosity-seekers descending on Chinatown Sunday for the traditional New Year’s celebrations, replete with firecrackers and dancing dragons.

According to the traditional Chinese calendar, 2015 is the year of the sheep — which promises a year of prosperity, promise, kindness and benevolence.

But unlike other animals in the Chinese zodiac, there is some debate as to whether 2015 is the year of the sheep, the ram or the goat. The Chinese word for the zodiac, “yang,” can be used to refer to all three animals.

People born in the year of the ram, sheep or goat are believed to be kind and popular, to love peace, and to be helpful and trusting.