Happy Chinese New Year 春节快乐 (chūnjié kuàilè)
2018 is the Year of the Dog (狗 gǒu), the 11th animal in the 12-year Chinese Zodiac cycle, right after the Chicken (鸡 jī) and before the Pig (zhū). Alongside the Zodiac cycle is a rotating cycle of Five Natural Elements: Gold/Metal(金 jīn), Wood (木 mù), Water (水 shuǐ) Fire (火 huǒ), and Earth (土 tǔ). As the cycles turn, each person is born with a unique animal and element identifier. 2017 was the Year of the "Fire Chicken", 2018 is the Year of the "Earth Dog", and next year will be the Year of the "Golden Pig".
People born in each Chinese Zodiac year are thought to share certain characteristics. The Year of the Dog is thought to be auspicious. Those born in that year are said to be loyal, sincere, amiable, cautious, and honest. They are ready to help others and are truly devoted to those they care about. Dogs are said to lack strong communication skills, and so sometimes can be perceived as being stubborn. If you are a Dog, your lucky colors are red, green and purple and your lucky numbers are 3, 4 and 9. Dogs are said to be particularly compatible with Rabbits. On the Five Elements side, an Earth Year is thought to be balanced, grounded, and organized. It's also a year when Mother Earth's presence is expected to be felt. Interestingly, 2018 is also considered an Earth Year in Western Astrology.
Famous dogs include Mother Theresa, Elvis Presley, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Madonna, and Michael Jackson.
Visit our Culture Corner to learn more about the Five Elements in Chinese philosophy and how they affect the zodiac!
Image Models: Special thanks to Roxanne the Rottweiler and Annie the Pit bull for modeling for our Year of the Dog photo. Roxanne and Annie are among the thousands of abandoned animals rescued and placed into a "forever homes" by Karma Rescue, a non-profit organization whose staff and volunteers work tirelessly on behalf of LA's dog and cat populations.