Chinese couples shun ‘Sheep year babies’

Chinese New Year

Chinese people around the world are gearing-up this week to usher in the year of the sheep. Preparations for celebrations are under way across China. But, while celebrating the new year, some parents-to-be are having second thoughts.
CCTV’s Li Nan reported this story from Shanghai.

Sheep-themed knick-knacks have sprung up in shops across China.

Chinese couples shun ‘Sheep year babies’

Chinese people around the world are gearing-up this week to usher in the year of the sheep. Preparations for celebrations are under way across China. But, while celebrating the new year, some parents-to-be are having second thoughts. CCTV’s Li Nan reported this story from Shanghai.

The holiday is also the busiest time for fortune tellers, who are trying to get a sense of what the change in the zodiac will bring.

“The disasters will be related to wind, that’s air pollution, which comes in with dirty air currents and affects everyone’s lives,” Fortune Teller Dong Jialing said.

The year of sheep is also the least preferred year among couples, especially those that are expecting.

“If you are a sheep you are very generous. You exhaust your energy in doing things,” Jialing said. “So your life will be more tiresome, more strenuous.”

Meika Chin, a midwife at Shanghai United Family Hospital said she has seen a drop in those having children in the year of the sheep.

If I see some of the women and talking to them and if they’re married this year, they’ll say that they’re going to skip the Year of Sheep and have the baby the year after,” Chin said. T”his affects the amount of people having babies, there’s definitely a drop, probably around 20 percent.”

But some parents see a sheep baby as an advantage not a disadvantage.

“Lots of people try to avoid having sheep babies. But that means my baby won’t have as much competition, which is great,” Mrs. Li said.

Elsewhere in the city, locals make preparations for the holiday, sharing their hopes.

“I hope in the Year of the Sheep that my boyfriend and I can get married,” Miss Zheng said.

As luxury shopping malls in major cities compete for Chinese consumers before the holiday, traditional decor is not the only thing available on display.