There is going to be a lot of excitement at the ‘Barn in February! Why? Because the Year of the Dog begins! Sure, it’s not typically an American tradition, but we are up for any kind of celebration at Holiday Barn! Are you familiar with the Chinese Zodiac and the Year of the Dog? Allow me to enlighten you, says Confucius…
Each year in the Chinese zodiac is represented by a different Animal. There are 12 animals total, so after 12 years, in accordance with the Chinese lunar calendar, the cycle repeats itself. These 12 animals include (in order) the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. This year, beginning on February 16th, 2018, and ending on February 4th, 2019, is the year of the Dog! Woot! Woot! Or should I say, Woof! Woof!
Why the Year of the Dog?
You may wonder why these particular animals were chosen? There are many tales as to how it all came about, but one of the most popular is that Buddha invited all the animals to a race. He said that the first 12 animals to cross the finish line would be included in the Chinese Zodiac calendar. The above order is how they finished (supposedly, the rat hitched a ride on the Ox’s back, and right before he crossed the finish line, the rat jumped off and ran across the line to finish first). Another tale is that Buddha invited all the animals of the earth to a celebration in heaven. The first to arrive at the party was the Rat, followed by the Ox, and so on. There is folklore about all the funny things the animals did to get to heaven before the others!
The Chinese zodiac goes on to associate each zodiac year with the 5 Elements in Chinese philosophy: Metal, Water, Wood, Earth, and Fire, which adds another layer of uniqueness to the zodiac sign. But for our purposes, we are going to stick to talking about the animals, specifically the dog!
What does it mean?
A person’s zodiac animal is said to reflect their personality traits, their destiny, and even their health. People born in the Year of the Dog have many dog-like qualities. The dog is a symbol of extreme loyalty. He is faithful, courageous, smart, agile, cheerful, and warm-hearted… That sounds about right, doesn’t it? “Dog people” are active, insistent, and quick-witted. Their weaknesses are that they lack patience, are anxious, and can flaunt braveness. Fortunately, dogs enjoy great health and are resilient to sickness.
When Does it Start and End?
The Chinese New Year can fall anywhere between late January and late February, based on the lunar calendar. This year, the Chinese will celebrate New Year’s Day on February 16th. There are many ways to celebrate, but one traditional method is the giving of red envelopes. Red envelopes are “gifts” given as a token of good fortune for the new year.
Every year is the year of the dog at Holiday Barn, but we will be celebrating the Chinese New Year and the beginning of the “official” Year of the Dog during the week of February 5th through the 9th. Your dog will receive their very own Red Envelope as you drop them off or pick them up. Each envelope contains a fortune and a small gift just for him!
Join us in celebration of the year of the dog!
For more fun reading on the Year of the Dog, read this article from China Highlights.