By Lauren Lewis
Wave your paws in the air and bring on the fireworks—or perhaps in the case of nervous pups, some confetti and streamers. Either way, it’s time to celebrate! According to the Chinese zodiac, 2018 is the Year of the Dog. On February 16, millions of people around the world commemorate the Chinese New Year, which just so happens to honor our canine pals this time around.
The Chinese New Year dates back to 2600 B.C., when Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the zodiac. Although the Chinese calendar is a yearly one, it follows the cycle of the moon rather than that of the sun, which determines our Western calendar. So instead of following a linear cycle like we do, the Chinese New Year rotates in a circle of 12 years.
Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha called together all the animals to bid him farewell before he left the earth. Only 12 animals came, and as a reward, Buddha named a year after each one of them in the order they arrived: rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, and boar.
In Chinese horoscopes, people born in the year of a particular animal are said to have certain characteristics of that animal.
Humans born in the Year of the Dog (1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006) possess qualities such as loyalty and honesty. They are said to be faithful, smart, and straightforward—making them great friends. However, they can also be stubborn, self-righteous, and cold.
If you were born in the Year of the Dog:
3, 4, 9 (Avoid: 1, 6, 7)
red, green, and purple (avoid: blue, white, gold)
rose, cymbidium orchids