This year, the world will celebrate February 16 as the Chinese New Year. On this day, beautiful red lanterns decorate the streets and houses of millions of Chinese across the globe. As per Chinese astrology, 2018 is the Chinese Year of the Dog.
The Chinese dedicate every year to an animal based on a 12-year repetitive cycle. There are 12 animals each representing specific characteristics. Depending on the year a person is born in, he is assigned a Chinese zodiac based on that year’s animal. For example, for someone born in 2018, they will have ‘dog’ as their Chinese zodiac.
Key Concepts to Understand
In order to understand the ‘Chinese Year of the Dog’, we need to understand the base.
- The Chinese Lunar Calendar
The concept of Chinese zodiac is based on Chinese lunar calendar. Whenever someone mentions 2018 year of the dog, they would mean the ‘Chinese’ lunar calendar year which will start from 16th of February 2018 and end on 4th of February 2019.
As per the lunar calendar, the new year starts on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month. This calendar was invented by Emperor Huangdi during the rule of the North Zhou dynasty in 2637 BC. The calendar has 12 or 13 lunar months and is slightly behind the Gregorian calendar (January to December) that we commonly use.
- The Four Pillars of Destiny
The Chinese zodiacs are built around the concept of Four Pillars. There are 4 components known as the years, the months, the days and the hours. According to Chinese philosophy, these 4 pillars define a person’s destiny for the rest of their lives.
The first pillar, the ‘year’ represents a person’s self- perception as well as how others perceive that person. The second pillar, the ‘month’ represents the parents of the person or his childhood. The Chinese astrologers are said to consider the ‘month’ pillar as a critical sign in determining a person’s adult life. Similarly, the day represents the married life of a person and the hour represents the children that a person might have.
As explained earlier, the Chinese assign an animal to each year. In addition to that, Chinese astrologers assign animal signs to each month, day and hour as well. The animal for the month is known as the inner animal, the animal for the day known as the true animal and the animal for the hour known as the secret animal. A person will most likely have multiple animal signs as per his year, month, day or hour of birth. Hence, one could possibly be born in a rooster year and a rat month.
- The 12 Chinese Animals
All four pillars of destiny are represented by any one of the 12 animal signs. These animals best represent the characteristics of the people born under any unique year. Also, legend has it that Lord Buddha invited animals to bid farewell before he departed from Earth. Out of all the animals invited only 12 arrived. To honour these 12 animals, Buddha named each year of the 12-year lunar cycle after them. These 12 animals are as follows in the correct order:
The rat, the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the goat, the monkey, the rooster, the dog and the pig.
- The Five Elements
In addition to the 12 signs, there are 5 elements as well. These 5 elements are assigned to different pillars of destiny. These five elements of nature are earth, water, fire, air and metal. The Chinese New Year 2018 is the Year of the Dog in the Earth branch.
The Chinese Zodiac of ‘Dog’
The Dog is one of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac which is based on the Chinese Lunar calendar. The years of the dog comes every 12 years. Before 2018, 2006 was the year of the dog. Similarly, the next one will occur in 2030.
The year of the dog is related to the ‘earth’ branch which is one of the five elements as mentioned above. It is believed that those who will be born in this earth dog year will possess characteristics like effective communication skills, seriousness in approach and responsible behaviour at work.
In general, people born under the dog symbol are said to be loyal, honest and kind just like dogs. They are believed to be prudent, amiable and sincere. They are easy going and helpful in nature and appreciate a good family and quiet life. They enjoy good health and are active in sports. It is said that due to their personality of honesty and sincerity, the best-suited careers for them are in the fields of law, science, counselling, teaching, medicine, and religion.
For a person born under the dog symbol, the following are considered to be lucky.
- Lucky Colours: red, purple and green
- Lucky Numbers: 3,4 and 9 or a combination of these numbers such as 39, 43 etc.
- Lucky Flowers: rose and cymbidium orchids
- Lucky Directions: East, North-East, and South
- Lucky Days: 7th and 28th of every Chinese lunar calendar month
- Lucky Months: 6th, 10th and 12th months of the Chinese lunar calendar
Similarly, there are some elements which are considered unlucky for the people born under the year of the dog. These elements are as follows:
- Unlucky Numbers: 1, 6 and 7
- Unlucky Colours: White, Blue, and Gold
- Unlucky Direction: South-East
- Unlucky Months: 5th and 8th months of the Chinese lunar calendar
Year of The Dog Personalities
Famous personalities born under this symbol include: Michael Jackson, Justin Beiber, Madonna, Donald Trump, Mother Teresa, and Winston Churchill.
2018 Predictions for the Year of the Dog
The predictions for the year of the dog 2018 are that they will make financial gains by being hands on and taking initiative. By taking up projects in the real estate sector, technical sector, thermal power or culture sector, they may achieve great success. They might not have a great love life in this year. Health wise also, they need to be careful.
We hope that this New Year brings you lots of happiness and good health. The Chinese calendar is a technique developed in an ancient culture which makes for a very interesting topic.
You can learn more about Chinese zodiacs in our previous article here.