Shen Yun: Five things you may not have known about Year of the Horse - East Valley Tribune: Performance

Shen Yun: Five things you may not have known about Year of the Horse

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Posted: Monday, March 3, 2014 10:00 am | Updated: 10:18 am, Mon Mar 10, 2014.

1. Year of the Horse means “instant success” and is a symbol of the Chinese culture. The horse is a symbolism of war. During the Han Dynasty, China often engaged in warfare with nearby nomadic tribes. Those tribes had warhorses that often scared the opposing forces. China saw this tactic and decided to purchase their own warhorses from other nomadic tribes. Horses essentially were a symbolism of power, strength and intimidation.

2. The importance of horses also translated over into the art realm, as they became the most prominent subject matter. Horses also were involved in celebrations and parties. Dancers would perform tricks or tumbling routines as the horses galloped around. Eventually horses became the center focus of parties as they would bow and walk in formations. Horses were also decorated with golden and silver costumes.

3. Horses eventually began to hold a less extravagant look. They became recognized as a valuable part of everyday life. A mare’s milk was often used in a nomads diet. Also, horses were used for postal services. Messages were given to different regions through Spain in a speedy and efficient manner. It wasn't always just messages but food or gifts as well.

4. Horses were also used in novels and often times were portrayed as the heroic figures in stories. Horses could travel long distances, withstand harsh environments and were very loyal to their riders.

5. Lastly, the horses were well taken care of. A person would take care of and watch over them. Horses were a king or emperor’s prized possession and were guarded with the upmost care. No matter what time of year it is horses are still a prominent symbol in China and give life to the history of its country.

See Shen Yun at ASU Gammage March 7-9;

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