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The Chinese celebrates the lunar new year for 15 days, from the 1st to 15th days of the first month of the lunar calendar.  This year (2015), the 1st day of the lunar year falls on 19 Feb.  (see my previous post )   The Chinese “zodiac” resembles the Western one only that it comprises 12 signs.  However, the sign changes once a year compared to the Western one that changes once a month.  The Chinese zodiac signs are are made up of animals known to ancient Chinese, and comprises both domesticated animals as well as wild ones.  It starts with the rat, which in the current cycle falls in 2008.  It is followed by ox (2009), tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.   There is a story about how the rat got into pole position.  When the animals were asked to report for inclusion in the list, the rat being of small size rode in the ear of the ox.  Nearing the finishing point, it jumped down and crossed the finishing line first, hence becoming the first of the listed animals.  Here’s a quick check to find out which zodiac sign you are born under (but do note that the changeover date is not the first of January but the first day of the lunar new year, so it would be around mid-Jan to end-Feb, the actual day varying from year to year)

zodiac years 2

I am a great admirer of Akira Yoshizawa, and this is my rendition of his zodiac animals folded a few years ago.  They are all designed from the same (bird) base.

Designed by Akira Yoshizawa

Designed by Akira Yoshizawa

Zodiac animals

Designed by Akira Yoshizawa

Since 2010, I have also been folding my favourite origami model of the animal that represents the new zodiac sign, to make a lunar new year greeting e-card from it.  2010 was the Year of the Tiger, and I folded Hideo Komatsu’s model.  It was a very realistic version complete with stripes (which actually inspired me to start the series).

tiger

Designed by Hideo Komatsu

   2010

   Year of the Tiger

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Since then, I have kept to my goal of folding a model and making  an e-card for each lunar new year.  Here are the results so far.  I do hope to continue this in the coming years, so stay tuned.

design by Robert Lang and variation by me

design by Robert Lang and variation by me

   2011

   Year of the Rabbit

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Robert Lang’s model hs a special place in my heart as it was one of the earliest “good” models that I folded using wetfolding.  In 2011, someone asked me to design a standing model as it was the rage then, and so I obliged with a variation of Lang’s model which you can also see in the picture.

design by Fumiaki Kawahata

design by Fumiaki Kawahata

   2012

   Year of the Dragon

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This dragon head is another of my favourites.  The dragon in Eastern mythology is an auspicious animal.  This one has many details of the head and comes complete with scales, which at the time the model was designed was rare.

designed by Ronald Koh

designed by Ronald Koh

   2013

   Year of the Snake

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This snake, a cobra, is designed by my friend Ronald Koh (I tweaked the look).  Ron’s cobra made history when the Origami Singapore group folded the world’s longest origami snake in 2001, which stood at 45 m long .

designed by Roman Diaz

designed by Roman Diaz

2014

   Year of the Horse

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The horse has a special place in my heart as I was born under its zodiac sign.  Hence also its appearance on my masthead, which was my attempt at a “Eight Horse Painting”, a classical theme in Chinese ink painting.  (see my earlier post)

Goat - designed by Jun Maekawa

Goat – designed by Jun Maekawa

2015

Year of the Goat

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For the Year of the Goat I chose a design by Akira Yoshizawa for my ecard, but I like the majesty of Jun Maekawa’s goat which is shown in the picture above.  (You can see more in this post)

So, this will be a work in progress and I will add a new model every year.

Hope you enjoyed this.

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