People born in 1991 and 1979 are struggling to find love in China because of the stigma surrounding the sheep zodiac sign, a magazine has claimed.
State-owned magazine Phoenix Weekly caused a stir online after interviewing numerous parents on Beijing on what it was like to try to set their sons and daughters up with a suitor.
They found that people born in the year of the sheep are seen to equal a lifetime of bad luck as romantic partners. According to the article, for those born in the year of the sheep, “life is not good -no children even if other conditions are appropriate.”
The Chinese custom of meeting in parks to discuss potential matches with relatives is popular in Beijing, and elderly people can typically be seen sitting on their own stools, carrying various “blind date materials”, which usually detail income, house registration and education.
The ‘blind date marriage market’ has even been known to question whether the parents of the prospective match work in old Beijing, if they are Communists and the details of their ‘intellectual family’ according to the article.
One prospective partner, Peng Shunli, was rejected by partner’s parents due to the fact of being born in 1991, but filling all other requirements: “If not sheep I certainly choose your daughter!”
In a flood of comments about the story on Weibo, people are saying how unfair the judgements are for those born in the year of the sheep.
"No wonder so many people are still single," remarked one person, according to the BBC.
"My mother is a sheep, my girlfriend is also a sheep... this superstition is nonsense, sheep have the best temperament,” another man said.
The most recent year of the sheep was 2015 and those with a 1991 and 1979 year of birth can expect to be frowned upon by some Beijing matchmakers.
According to Chinese astrologer Master George Tang, those born in the year of the zodiac sheep, also known as the goat, are “refined, cunning, aesthetic, perceptive, charming, serene and sensitive.”
“The Zodiac enacts a profound influential role in the culture and communities of China,” Master Tang explains.
“Millions of people follow this for life and luck guidance and many base their relationships on the characteristics for each sign,” he adds.
Other people remarked on the thread that they thought the anti-sheep sentiments derived in snobbery and superiority.
A single man quipped: "I am a cow, you can come and eat grass with me."
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