Happy Chinese new year! Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new Chinese lunar calendar and a new year—the year of the earth dog. Unlike astrological signs, which are separated according to months, the Chinese new year corresponds with your birth year. The years are further divided according to element—earth, air, water, fire. Last year, for example, was a fire rooster.
And if you were born in 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982 or 1994, this is your year. (Note that if your birthday is in January or February, your animal symbol may be the previous years, as the Chinese new year, or lunar new year, shifts early in the winter, on a different date every year) People who were born in a dog year may find that this is a year of growth and transformation, an anchor year where you may get engaged, buy a house, find a job you love, or do something else that “grounds” you to the earth.
The year of the earth dog, especially, is one that’s anchored in tradition, stability, and connection. A dog year is symbolized by loyalty and fidelity; two traits only enhanced when linked to the earth. Babies born in the year of the earth dog will likely be hardworking, committed perfectionists who want what’s best for them—and everyone around them. For example, Madonna is an earth dog, and she’s done pretty well for herself, personally and professionally. While an earth dog may have a loud bark, they aren’t all show—they are grounded, committed, and will work diligently to get what they want. And for those of us just living in an earth dog year, this is the time when your commitments, our passion, and our hard work can get us where we want to be.
While we’ll be in the year of the earth dog for the next year, tomorrow, Friday February 16, is an especially auspicious day to celebrate the shifting of the calendar from one cycle to another. Not a “put on a party hat and watch the ball drop” type of person? Good, because the Chinese new year is celebrated very differently, and attending a celebration, parade, or honoring the Chinese new year traditions can be a great way to start the lunar new year on the right foot, enhance your luck, and welcome the year of the Earth dog!
Chinese New Year Traditions To Try
Try these traditions today to welcome the year of the earth dog into your life!
Wear red. The shade symbolizes luck! You may also see red envelopes being passed around. These envelopes, called hóngbao in Mandarin, are filled with money and are given between bosses and employees, parents and children, and older people to younger people. The money should be crisp and new, and the red envelope—not the cash inside—is what symbolizes a prosperous and rich new year.
Eat an orange or tangerine, with leaves attached. This sweet fruit can symbolize a sweet start to your year, while the green leaves symbolize prosperity.
Eat noodles. Long noodles equal a long life.
Clean your house. Getting rid of clutter and things from the past clears the way for a new year.
This is a happy occasion, and a very happy new year!
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