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It’s The Year of the Dog: Happy Chinese New Year 2018!

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It’s The Year of the Dog: Happy Chinese New Year 2018!

Happy New Year! No, we aren’t looking at the wrong calendar. Chinese New Year 2018 begins on February 16 with the Year of The Dog. And while we’ve been celebrating the start of 2018 here in North America, in China, the year will be 4716.

The Chinese Zodiac

So why is 2018 the Year of The Dog? The Chinese calendar is a lunar-solar calendar that tracks the date by the Sun and Moon. In fact, the phrase “Lunar New Year” is sometimes used interchangeably with “Chinese New Year.” The years in the calendar are named for the Chinese zodiac, which features 12 different animals that rotate in 12-year cycles.  Each of the zodiac animals are assigned specific years, and each symbolizes a special trait or characteristic. For instance, 2017 was the Year of the Rooster, and roosters are associated with hard work, bravery, talent, and confidence. The dog represents loyalty, dependability, and honesty, to name a few (see the full list of traits below).

So, What’s Your Sign?

When it comes to birthdays, Chinese tradition holds that each person is given the zodiac symbol (animal) that corresponds with the year of their birth. So, people born in 2018 are dogs, as are people that were born every 12 years prior: in 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934, 1922 and so on.

You might think that if you are a dog, then “dog years” should be lucky for you. But in Chinese mythology, the opposite is true. The years of your zodiac sign are thought to be the least lucky years of all — not necessarily calamitous, but Chinese astrologers recommend that you should be more cautious in your decisions during years that line up with your zodiac sign.

(Continued Below)

Chinese Years and Their Zodiac Traits

Rat
Years: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, and 2020
Traits: Known for originality and initiative; intelligent, energetic, trustworthy, hardworking, loyal, perfectionist, easily angered but forgiving. Loves to gamble.

Ox
Years: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, and 2021
Traits: Patient, persistent, leader, orderly, cheerful, good speaker, somewhat, stubborn, easily angered, alert mentally. Cautious in dealing with people.

Tiger
Years: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022
Traits: Courageous, aggressive, candid, compassionate, likes flattery, virtuous, very friendly, deep thinker, very logical, gentle, kind.

Rabbit
Years: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023
Traits: Talented and articulate, thrifty, very affectionate, diplomatic, tactful, peace lover, good financial mind, seldom ill tempered. Very sentimental.

Dragon
Years: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024
Traits: Good sense of humor, very sincere, soft hearted, has strong opinions, honest, brave, passionate, inspires trust, healthy, willing to help others, eager to learn.

Serpent
Years: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025
Traits: Very wise, beautiful mind and body. Fickle, affectionate, seldom discouraged. Strong willed, good organizer, intelligent and knowledgeable.

Horse
Years: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026
Traits: Extremely independent, artistic, loves music, drama, and literature, strong willed, energetic, strives for perfection, optimistic and loving.

Sheep
Years: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027
Traits: Elegant in dress, creative, shy, easily led, religious, exercises good taste, easy to please, sometimes pessimistic, loves art, good thinker, friendly.

Monkey
Years: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028
Traits: Very clever, charming, loves to read. Enthusiastic, skillful. Has good common sense, loves adventure and travel. Talkative, agile and has a good memory.

Rooster
Years: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029
Traits: Honest, good worker, self confident, ambitious, deep thinker, realistic. Excellent foresight, not easily discouraged. Outspoken and frank.

Dog
Years: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030
Traits: Loyal, dependable, honest, good executive, sense of humor. Very generous, always helping others. Outgoing, good leaders, artistic, gentle and kind.

Pig
Years: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 1931
Traits: Chivalrous and gallant, honest, great thirst for knowledge, dislikes arguments, kind, well liked, calm. A slow but careful nature, easy-going manner.

 

With contributions from freelance writer, Amber Kanuckel

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