Bright red lanterns embellishing street corners, the rising steam of savory dumplings, firecrackers casting sparks in all directions — if you're lucky enough to have participated in a Chinese New Year celebration, these images are probably forever imprinted in your mind. An ancient festival with thousands of years of history, it is celebrated by countless cultures throughout Southeast Asia and its festivities are found all over the world, in even the most remote places. Each year in the Chinese zodiac calendar is characterized by its presiding animal and starting Feb. 16, 2018, what Year of the Dog means will set the tone everyone born under that year.
The Chinese zodiac wheel is home to 12 different animals and on every New Year, last year's animal is replaced by the animal next in line. It's widely known that the animal reigning over the year you were born supposedly say a lot about your personality; but it actually gets a lot deeper than that. Each year, the animal is defined by one of the five elements (in Chinese astrology, these elements are metal, wood, fire, and earth). These elements give the presiding animal an extra layer of meaning, a uniqueness that makes the current year that much more special. This year, we'll be celebrating Year of the Earth Dog, something that hasn't happened since 1958.
In Chinese astrology, it's said that you will take on qualities of the animal governing the year you were born. For people born during Year of the Dog, this is great news. Dogs are known for their fierce loyalty, their endless supply of love, their positive attitude, and most importantly, their kindness. They display an eagerness toward adventure and warmth and their honest disposition makes them most people's favorite animal. Dogs fight for what they believe in and they'll always lend a helping hand to those who are in need.
On the other hand, they can also be stubborn and rigid in their beliefs. Easily irritated and upset when things don't go their way, they have the tendency to embrace sadness and pessimism in life all too often. They're also known for self-righteousness and judging others who can't measure up to their strength unfairly.
It is said that people born under Year of the Dog are most compatible with people born during Year of the Rabbit and least compatible with those born during Year of the Dragon, Goat, or Rooster. A few famous Dogs are David Bowie, Judy Garland, Prince William, Elvis Presley, and Freddie Mercury. You're in good company if you're a Dog too!
For an even more detailed picture of what this year means in the Chinese zodiac, consider the element that accompanies the animal. Earth Dogs are extremely hardworking, disciplined, and patient. In fact, they're not known for achieving great wealth early in life and their prime happiness often takes place during their later years.
Despite how calculating and focused their are on their goals, they will never compromise their values for anything or anyone. This can make the Earth Dog a polarizing animal, one that inspires great admiration as well as disdain in all who cross paths with them. Regardless of how well they're liked by others, there's no doubt they're respected for staying true to themselves.
Earth Dogs have a pure spirit and they glide through life without intervening in the affairs of others, believing that we should all live and let live. This separates them from other Dogs, who could be more judgmental and patronizing by nature.
Two perfect examples of Earth Dogs are Madonna and Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson was known for marching to the beat of his own drum, working steadfastly and persistently to achieve his dreams, and he never gave up on himself, no matter how many haters he had rooting for him to fail. In life, Madonna exemplifies those same exact qualities.