Goat, sheep, lamb—domestic livestock. They’ve provided us with food, clothing, symbolism, and even memories for centuries.
Food and Religious Offerings:
My earliest memory of a goat came from my grand-mother who was the matriarch of the Chen family. Small in stature but big in ideologies, she believed in building a successful business and keeping her family comfortable. My grandmother owned a leather-tanning business that employed local natives. These spiritual locals believed in offering live goats as sacrifices (Puja) to please God in return for His blessing to all humankind. Every year my grandmother obliged her employees with a live goat. They also got a day off to perform their ritual—a gesture that made everyone happy as it also provided meat for a tasty curry. This is something that I value most about communal living.
Memories with My Children:
Ba Ba black sheep—life was a merry-go-round when I was raising my two kids. I learned with them, ate with them, and sang nursery rhymes with them. We learned how to count, do arithmetic, and memorize our times tables the old-fashioned way. My children—full of fun—filled me with joy as they still do to this day.
Passengers in Noah’s Ark:
The Book of Genesis says that Noah’s Ark drifted in the Flood when God sent heavy rainfall for forty days and forty nights. On board this vessel were pairs of every animal. So of course, goats would have been among the chosen ones—living undisturbed and happily in the Ark. Though there is no physical proof of Noah’s Ark, the story prevails. It continues to flourish and to entertain our imagination of a legendary Ark atop Mount Ararat in Lebanon.
2015 – Lunar Year of the Goat:
February 19, 2015 is our Lunar New Year and millions of people around the globe will be celebrating the New Year on that New-Moon day. The traditions, beliefs, and culture pass on from generation to generation reminding us of who we are and where we come from.
Happy New Year! 恭喜癹財!