As the lunar new year begins on February 16, we join in with friends around the globe to celebrate its arrival. On the Asian Zodiac calendar, this year is the yang (male) earth (sometimes called brown or yellow) dog. If you were born in a year of the dog – 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, or 2018 – the sign’s characteristics may be familiar as it is believed that they influence personality. For the rest of us, here are a few dog sign traits and how they are expected to play out in the new year.
Just once every 60 years, the dog sign combines with earth energy – and it last occurred in 1958. The dog sign is known as a symbol of intelligence and protection. It is also viewed as honest, loyal, just, and courageous. The earth chi or energy that will influence it this year is solid and stable. Together, these create a smooth transition from last year’s punctual, hard-working fire rooster. One website predicts 2018 will be “a good year in all respects,” and another sees a quiet and purpose-filled year. Several others also predict it will be eventful and filled with change, fresh starts, and initiation of new projects – and that the dog’s noble character will have a positive influence on society.
In Asia, lunar new year celebrations often last a few days to a couple of weeks. To prepare for the holiday, many will thoroughly clean their homes, symbolically removing any “bad luck” from the previous year, purchase new clothes for a fresh start, and enjoy participating in cultural activities that vary a bit by country. These activities include family reunions and gift-giving, decorating homes, lighting firecrackers to ward off evil, and the “lion dance,” which mimics the movement of a lion to bring good luck and fortune. These traditions certainly speak to the promise of new beginnings and positive change anticipated for the coming year. With that in mind, we wish all of our Asian friends and colleagues good fortune for the months and year ahead.