Celebrate the Year of the Dog!
Lunar New Year (also often known as the Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival) is one of the world’s most bright, beautiful and exciting cultural celebrations. And in 2018 we are lucky enough to be entering the Year of the Dog!
Don’t be daunted if you don’t know a lot about the Lunar New Year – here are some fun facts to get you into the New Year spirit and embracing all of the good fortune for the year to come.
• The animal zodiac is based on a twelve-year cycle with twelve different animals symbolizing each of the years – otherwise known as the ‘shengxiao’. Each New Year is said to hold particular qualities associated with that animal. You, too, are said to have qualities connected to the animal of your birth year.
1) Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
2) Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
3) Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
4) Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
5) Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
6) Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
7) Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
8) Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
9) Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
10) Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
11) Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
12) Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971
• If you were born in the Year of the Dog, you are said to be kind, loyal, patient, helpful and honest. Just like our favourite furry friend!
• The Lunar New Year start date can vary depending on the new moon, but in 2018 the celebrations commence on the 16th of February and last for about two weeks after this (though most celebrations will happen the weekend of the 16th).
• You might be lucky enough to have celebrations happening in your town, including parades in your local Chinatown, noisy lion dances, acrobatics, markets and street food. Be aware of fireworks and fire crackers, however, and always keep your dog well away when these are lighting up the sky.
• There are several traditional Chinese dog breeds that are beloved in many homes today, including the Pug, the Shih Tzu, the Chow Chow, the Shar-Pei and the Chinese Crested Dog.
• There is a Chinese myth that if a dog enters your house, it means that fortune is coming your way - though at Pawshake, we feel lucky whenever any dog comes up to say hello! Dogs are also said to bring good 'yang' into the home, which is a positive, safe and active energy. Maybe it's time to start pet-sitting to bring in some more positive pooch energy into your life.
• Famous Year of the Dog babies include Winston Churchill, Steven Spielberg, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber.
Let’s all hope that our favourite animal brings us all a happy and prosperous year to come. Happy Lunar New Year and 新年快乐!