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Netsuke, Japan, 18th century. Museum no. 418-1904

Netsuke, Japan, 18th century. Museum no. 418-1904

The Chinese use the lunar calendar for festive occasions including the New Year which falls somewhere between late January and early February. The cycle of twelve animal signs derives from Chinese folklore as a method for naming the years. The animals follow one another in an established order and are repeated every twelve years - rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each animal has particular characteristics and people born in a certain year are believed to take on these characteristics.

Horse characteristics

People born in the Year of the Horse are popular, energetic and confident. They are independent, eager to try new things and are bored by routine, which is why they want to travel and enjoy different cultures. They enjoy entertainment and parties and are naturally good public speakers, although they can talk too much. They hate being controlled, rarely listen to advice and are prone to instant mood-swings and a hot temper, but are also very loveable and easy to get on with. Horse people have lots of sex appeal and always want to look their best.

Horse Years: 1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026

The following objects show examples of horses from different parts of the V&A's collections. The horse has different meanings to different cultures and religions throughout the world.

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Masterpieces of Chinese Painting (Hardback)||RHFPR

Masterpieces of Chinese Painting (Hardback)||RHFPR

Painting has always been regarded by the Chinese as a supreme art, its merits equal to those of poetry and philosophy. The tradition can be traced ove…

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A gift in your will

You may not have thought of including a gift to a museum in your will, but the V&A is a charity and legacies form an important source of funding for our work. It is not just the great collectors and the wealthy who leave legacies to the V&A. Legacies of all sizes, large and small, make a real difference to what we can do and your support can help ensure that future generations enjoy the V&A as much as you have.


Event - London Life and Times: Medieval to Modern

Wed 30 September 2015–Wed 06 July 2016

NEW 2015-2016 YEAR COURSE: London is one of the greatest cities on earth. It sits at the centre of time and the world sets its clocks by GMT. Its famous inhabitants include William Shakespeare, Samuel Pepys, Charles Dickens, Sherlock Holmes, Virginia Woolf, and Jimi Hendrix.

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