A performer looks out from the head of a lion dance costume during the opening of Ditan Temple Fair on the Lunar New Year's Eve in Beijing, China Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015
Andy Wong—AP
By Kevin McSpadden
February 19, 2015

A new Google Doodle is ringing in the Lunar New Year — in Chinese astrology, the Year of the Goat — with an animated graphic that looks more like a sheep. Or it could be a ram. But the confusion is understandable, since the Chinese word (羊) for all three animals is the same.

For people across East Asia, this is an important time for family reunions. In China, what is often called the largest annual human migration on earth takes place as millions of migrant workers leave the cities and board trains to return to their native villages for what is also called the Spring Festival.

It’s tempting to draw an analogy between packed train carriages and flocks of sheep, but, as anyone who has traveled in China during peak periods knows, you need to be much more of a ram if you’re going to stand any hope of getting aboard.

Gong xi fa cai! Good luck and prosperity in 2015.

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