Chinese New Year 2018: The Year of the Dog
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. Note: For the most up to date content on the Chinese New Year, check out our Chinese New Year Page.
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.
With contributions from freelance writer, Amber Kanuckel