Is it a Goat or a Sheep or a Ram…….

Is It the Year of the Sheep, Goat, or Ram?

Actually, Chinese people are also not quite sure about that. In Chinese the word 羊 (yáng) is a generic term, and can refer to a sheep (绵羊), goat (山羊), ram/buck (公羊 male sheep or goat), 羚羊 (antelope), 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…
Find out more here

So it seems all three are OK but lets say that The Year of the Goat has just begun.  In Chinese astrology people born in this year are described as serene, calm, gentle and mild mannered.  It is suggested they should get out among nature and commune with the great outdoors. Fresh air, trees, and sunshine will do wonders for their health.

Well, ‘some’ of that could describe the lifestyle of these goats we saw last year when visiting my sister in Cyprus.  Arriving back at her complex just a short distance from the local village we almost bumped into this little herd who were making their way very determinedly across the road.

Looks like jaywalkers ahead!
Looks like jaywalkers ahead!

It seems they are used to the traffic on the road but we drove past very slowly because they were certainly not going to give way to the car lol  Which was great because it gave me a chance to have an up close and personal look at their lovely long brown coat 🙂

Not going to stop for anyone!
Not going to stop for anyone!

According to my sister they are called Damascus goats, although she had heard the word Shami used as well.  I must say it was quite calming to watch as they made their way across the scrub land behind the complex with the goatherd walking along with them.

The local goatherd and his flock.  Anarita 2014The local goatherd and his flock. Anarita 2014

Brown long haired Damascus goats
Brown long haired Damascus goats

When he stopped and pulled down a branch she said he was picking off juicy bits for some of the young ones.  I stood there for quite a while almost mesmerised as they made their way off to my right – answering his call as they moved off together all of them knowing where they were going.


Out in the Bondhu
Out in the Bondhu

The shadows were getting longer and as I slowly came back from my day dreaming I realised it was time for tea and a little bit of contemplation.     Haloumi cheese from goats milk is delicious – goat meat is a favourite meat of many Cypriots.  Were they milkers or were they being fattened for meat?

Linked to Nature Notes hosted by Michelle of Rambling Woods

13 thoughts on “Is it a Goat or a Sheep or a Ram…….

  1. My daughter and her husband raise goats. He now has a mini herd. They drink the milk and eat both cheese and meat. I am born the year of the Horse, so no problem here. I bet millions of Chinese restaurants are ordering new placemats.


  2. Goat is one of our favorite things to eat, when we can get it. Shami? Are you kidding? My father used to dry the cars after he washed them with a shami, a fine flexible piece of thin leather. And he took meticulous care of the shami too. The leather almost certainly came from those goats.


  3. Serene… not me then.. … Gee I hope they were milkers. I don’t think I have had goat, but I don’t really eat any meat anymore. so do LOVE cheese.. Lovely post for Nature Notes…thank you Cathy…Michelle


  4. I know a few old goats in Chinese astrology terms 😆 I do love to tease them. Some of those goats have enough hair to knot a jumper! My father used to entertain us as children with tales of milking a goat…. Glad I didn’t have to do it!


  5. Oh my! That’s a whole lot of goats! They are quite beautiful. I asked my mom about the kanji (Chinese character) that they say mean goat or sheep in Chinese. She said that in Japanese the same kanji means sheep. Definitely sheep, no if ands or buts.


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