In China, no one wants their children to be born in the Year of the Sheep, so many are predicting that there will be a baby boom before the Year of the Horse comes to an end on Feb. 19, 2015.
The Global Times, citing a report from China Central Television (CCTV), says that there has been a baby boom in 2014, with many regions including southwestern Guizhou Province and eastern Shandong Province already running short of birth certificates.
Citing another account from the Lanzhou Morning Post, the tabloid says that the situation is the same in other parts of the country, with Lanzhou, capital of northwestern Gansu Province, seeing an increase of 50 percent in births between January and July.
Also, since China relaxed its one-child policy late last year, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) during a recent press conference told reporters that more than 800,000 couples nationwide have already applied to have a second child as of the end of September 2014.
In any case, majority of the Chinese still seem to believe that babies born in the Year of the Sheep will grow up to be followers rather than leaders, and will have less luck in their lives and careers.
According to the Global Times, a survey of 2,000 respondents by people.com.cn showed that 52 percent of them admitted knowing couples who would avoid giving birth in the Year of the Sheep.
As commonly held, a Sheep child may be destined for unhappiness and heartbreak. One popular folk saying even holds that "only one out of 10 people born in the Year of the Sheep finds happiness."
In contrast, those born in the Year of the Horse will tend to grow up to be smart, independent, outgoing, energetic and happy, according to long-held Chinese beliefs. Thus, much like during the Year of the Dragon two years ago, many couples now aspire to have their children born within this year instead of next year.
After all, every parent wants only the best for his or her child. Even the highly educated among them would rather not take the risk of tempting fate by having a child born in the Year of the Sheep.