Year of the Dog

By: Arianna Ash

February is a month that brings plenty of celebration, whether it is for Valentine's Day, the Super Bowl or something else, but I will be informing you on an event that may be unfamiliar to most of us- The concept of Chinese New Year and the upcoming ‘Year of the Dog’.

Chinese New Year is self-explanatory. It is the marking of the new year, but for those in China, Japan, etc. It is a different date each year, and this year it is the sixteenth of February. Some people may find it odd that it isn’t on the same day as our new year, but it is simply because their calendar is different from ours. Every year for people who celebrate the Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year or Spring Festival (they’re all the same thing) is represented by one of the Chinese zodiac animal signs. Each year is named after the zodiac, which is why this year (or rather this year coming if you celebrate Lunar New Year) is considered ‘Year of the Dog’. What will come in the new year is also determined by the zodiac sign the year is matched with. You may be confused as to how each year has a zodiac sign and is predicted with it, but it's simple. There are twelve zodiac signs in total, and they form the repeating twelve-year cycle that the years run on. These signs, the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig, all have their own individual characteristics and elements. These qualities the signs are labeled with predict what is to come in the new year, but what does that mean for the upcoming ‘Year of the Dog’?

As ‘Year of the Dog’, its zodiac sign is obviously the dog, the eleventh animal of the Chinese zodiac. The element this year has is ‘earth’, so they combine the qualities of the element and animal to determine what is to come. The dog is sincere, independent, loyal and clever. The element ‘earth’ is associated with growth, hard work and harmony. With these qualities, the new year is predicted to bring a secure, rewarding, profitable and overall prosperous year.