The Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, has more than 4,000 years of history and is the longest holiday of the year. In the 21st century, the national holiday begins on the first of the Lunar Calendar and lasts until the 15th of the first month. 2018 is the year of the Dog or eleventh of all zodiac animals. Chinese New Year begins on February 16th and ends on March 2nd. The 12 Chinese zodiac animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. The Chinese zodiacs’ order was chosen by the Jade Emperor through a race organized by him.
Here is how the legend goes…The Cat and the Rat were supposed to go together. But the Cat overslept because the Rat had slipped something into his tea the night before. Then on the way, the Rat ran into an Ox and they struck up a deal: The Ox would carry the Rat while the Rat would sing for him. With the Rat’s encouraging singing, they quickly made it to the finish line. But just as they were crossing over, the Rat jumped down and landed in front of the Ox, in first place. The Tiger and the Rabbit arrived soon after. The Dragon could’ve been earlier, but he took a detour to save a village from a flood. The Snake arrived at the same time, but it was too small to be seen at first. The Horse and The Goat traveled together, but the Horse was a bit faster. The Monkey, the Rooster and the Dog were in another country, helping God Earlang defeat evil spirits. After, they set off to the party together. Because they arrived at the same time, the Jade Emperor went by the order they met the god in the other country. Thus, the Dog became eleventh. The Pig’s home was destroyed by a wolf and he had to rebuild it before joining the race. The Dog is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支—dì zhī) xū (戌), and the hours 7–9 in the evening. In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳—yīn yáng), the Dog is yang. In China, it is still popular to name dogs Wàng Cái (旺财). It means “prosperous wealth” and comes from dogs’ barking sounds (旺旺—wàng wàng). According to the Chinese Calendar in 2018 considered luck are :
- Lucky Numbers are 3, 4, 9.
- Lucky Colors: green, red, purple. Lucky Flowers: rose, oncidium, cymbidium orchids.
- Lucky Directions: East, Southeast, South.
- Unlucky Numbers – 1, 6, 7
- Unlucky Colours – blue, white, golden
- Unlucky Directions- North and West