Everthing You Need to Know about the Chinese Year of the Dog

2018 chinese year of the dog

2018 is the Chinese Year of the Dog *applause now*. To celebrate what can only be a magnificent year ahead, we bring you this guide to the Lunar Year of the Dog and what it all means. We are also giving away 5 amazing prizes over the coming week; from designer dog beds to a luxury pet friendly holiday (see, we told you the year of the dog would be awesome), so make sure you stay tuned and sign-up for your chance to win!

In the Western world, the New Year falls consistently on the same date, and December 31st is the day on which we celebrate the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one. However, when it comes to Chinese New Year celebrations, the date is never a fixed one, and this year one of the most colourful and buoyant global celebrations takes place on Friday, February 16th.

The celebrations often take place over a two-week period, and are based on the lunar rather than solar calendar, meaning the Chinese New Year can take place anywhere between January 21st and February 20th.

According to Chinese astrology, each Chinese New Year is related to a zodiac animal bestowed to the twelve-year cycle; and the dog lovers among us will be pleased to know that 2018 marks the year of everyone’s favourite four-legged friend, the Dog!

Our canine companions take the place of the eleventh zodiac sign, coming in before the Pig and just after the Rooster and previous years of the Dog have occurred in 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, meaning if any of those birth years belong to you, your Chinese Zodiac sign is the dog.

With the Chinese New Year comes much superstition and, if you’re born in the Year of the Dog, your lucky numbers are deemed to be 3, 4 and 9; your lucky colours are red, green and purple, your lucky months are the 6th, 10th, and 12th Chinese lunar months, and both roses and cymbidium orchids are said to be your lucky flowers. In addition, there are even a set of directions considered lucky for those born in the Year of the Dog – east, south, and northeast; perhaps something to bear in mind when taking your faithful friend Fido for a walk.

As well as there being notably lucky things for Dogs, there too are things to avoid, and numbers 1, 6 and 7 are all said to be unlucky for those born in the Year of the Dog, as are the colours blue, white and gold, while a south-easterly direction should be avoided where possible.

If you want to look even further into Chinese astrology, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth, meaning, for example, that a Wood Dog comes once in a 60-year cycle.

And much like our faithful friends, those who are born in the Year of the Dog are said to embody a number of canine-like characteristics including loyalty, reliability, patience, a hard working and brave nature and an eagerness to help others.

There are many famous Dogs, whose traits certainly align with that of their Chinese Zodiac sign, and include the likes of Winston Churchill, Mother Theresa and Steven Spielberg.

And so, in celebration of the Chinese New Year this Friday, why not treat your loyal companion to a new collar in red, green or purple, or take them on a north-easterly walk to thank them for their loyalty, reliability and steadfast hard work?

Lucy is a Sydney-based book and travel writer, formerly from the UK. She grew up with three sisters and a house full of pets, including a beloved black Labrador. Since moving to Australia she likes nothing more than dog-sitting for friends, and heading out to explore the city's many walks with a furry companion in tow.

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