Today marks the start of a new year on the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, and appropriately for us here at the Online Learning Academy, the Year of the Dog has commenced.
For dog owners, every year is dedicated to their canine companion, but China has its own year especially for the animal. It’s one of the 12 creatures that make up the Chinese zodiac, meaning it comes round every 12 years. The last Year of the Dog began in late January 2006.
Most of us are aware that the Chinese calendar assigns an animal to each year, but what else do you know about the Year of the Dog? Here are four facts:
1. The dog finished second last in the Great Race
A popular story about the order of the animals in the Chinese zodiac is that it was decided by a race, which was won by the rat after it piggybacked on the ox. The dog came in 11th out of the 12, with only the pig behind him.
What? How did a dog finish behind the likes of a monkey, a rooster and even a snake? The answer is simple and one that dog walkers can probably relate to – he spent too much time playing in the water!
2. The ‘time’ of the dog is 7:00 until 9:00 pm
It’s widely known that animals represent a time of year, but did you know they can be assigned to a time of day too? These two-hour periods are known as ‘Branches’, and dogs are assigned this evening Branch because this is the time of day during which they guard houses.
3. 2018 is an Earth Dog year
Not everybody knows that years are assigned an element from the Wu Xing cycle as well as an animal. There are five of these, and this year’s is Earth.
Earth years are associated with such qualities as patience and dedication. If you notice your dog digging at the earth to bury his bone a lot more often, perhaps this explains it!
4. The number four is lucky
It’s just as well we’ve stopped at four, because the number is considered lucky to those born in the Year of the Dog, as are three and nine. Superstitious Dogs should steer clear of the numbers one, six and seven.