What to Expect in the Year of the Dog

By: Jesus Lopez Gomez

As we welcome the new Lunar New Year, and the Year of the Dog, let’s be grateful we made it this far.

To be honest, the past two haven’t been our years.

We’re two years removed from 2016, the Year of the Monkey, but it may be hard to believe that much time has passed since the death of both David Bowie and Harambe, and the mass public enslavement to Pokemon GO in Vietnam, which prompted government action. Recall if you will the words the masses typed in exasperated all caps on the internet: 2016 HAVE YOU NO MERCY.

Yet we moved in to 2017, the Year of the Rooster, and it seemed the vestiges of 2016 were still with us: a shark ate our internet (again) and Ariana Grande cancelled her August appearance in Ho Chi Minh City hours before the show. Via Instagram. Not cool.

What gives? Are the stars out of alignment?

Well, sort of.

According to the Chinese Zodiac—which in addition to assigning each year an animal also assigns them one of five elements—2016, the 4,713th year in the calendar, was the Year of the Fire Monkey. These are two elements that don’t belong together. For the Chinese Zodiac calendar’s 4,714th year, 2017, the element remained the same with a new beast: the Year of the Fire Rooster. In a manner of speaking, our bird was cooked that year.

But What About 2018?

The coming Lunar Year is the Year of the Dog. The 4,715th year’s element is the earth, a strong element directionally oriented to the centre. Think balance and strength. If you want a visual representation of this year, think of Vietnam’s soccer team goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung shutting down the Qatar team during the semi-finals of the Asia Football Confederation game, and then shirtless and fierce in the post-game victory celebrations.

Video source: Amazing New Life

The Earth Dog’s characteristics are strength and steadiness, according to feng shui and Chinese astrology expert Ceren Sakin of the Turkish-Chinese Cultural Association. Remarking on the upcoming year, Sakin likened the Earth Dog to a mountain and called it a “tumbler”.

“No matter how big the blow, the person never falls, and he is strong and determined enough to get back up again,” Sakin said in an interview.

Since it’s a solid year, this is the year to work on something you’d like to last: your career, your bond with your family or your leaderboard score on Xbox.

Dragons, Goats, Roosters: Take a Seat

As stated before, the zodiac operates across a range of symbols that combined create harmonies and disharmonies.

You’re assigned an animal by birth year, as the placemat on your Chinese restaurant has often told you. Those born in the Year of the Goat (1979 or 1991), the Year of the Dragon (1988, 2000) and the Year of the Rooster (1993) ought to expect to have a more difficult time adjusting to the new Lunar Year.

Interestingly, those born in the year of the dog (1982, 1994) are also not expected to do well in the coming year.

Maybe it’s not that interesting: it’s always bad luck when your year comes around. The issue is with the God of Age, according to Chinese astrology. The best way to avoid bad luck during this year is by wearing something red given by an elder: a bracelet, a scarf or a “Make America Great Again” hat ought to do.

Wondering about your own birth animal? Find out below.

new yearImage source: pluris.co.uk

Rabbit, Tiger, Horse: Your Moment Has Come

If you were born in 1987, 1998, 1990 or any of the other Rabbit, Tiger or Horse zodiac years, get ready to bathe in riches, to change the proverbial game.

Year of the Rabbit: the dog is your guardian. Expect to be nurtured and protected in your endeavors. Zodiac reading say this is the time to expand your territory, so maybe now is the time explore a previously unknown part of your city or learn a new skill? Rabbit, a protection spell has been cast on you this year. Like a trust fund child, you can do no wrong now.

Year of the Tiger: where this year tends to be at the inception of big, broad efforts (for example, starting a business) the dog symbolises an ability to make it last (for example, maintaining that business). Those born in the year of the tiger need their space and tend to demand a lot of resources, but the Tiger will enjoy good fortune in the Year of the Dog like a kid on a snow day (nevermind that snow days don’t happen often in Vietnam).

Year of the Horse: those born in this year are naturally inclined to be leaders and playmakers. This is an animal that thrives in competition and always finds itself hungering to be in the winner’s circle. Horses, welcome the Year of the Dog’s foundation for strong, static things in your efforts to build something both big and amazing. This is the year you finally “wow” us like that video of a dog driving a motorcycle.

How To Prepare

Like all Lunar New Year preparations, yours should involve cleaning your house, giving red envelopes to children—the basic stuff. But because this is the Year of the Dog, make sure you buy Tet decorations that feature dog imagery, like a red lantern featuring dog iconography.

If you need more guidance than this, check out our coverage on Tet preparations.

new yearImage source: theepochtimes.com

Wait … Isn’t This All B.S.?

The Year of the Dog is very real, my friend, from the giant dogs on Ho Chi Minh City’s walking street Nguyen Hue to the canine-shaped fruits cropping up at your local Vietnamese market. In another part of the world, this may be a more secular and depressing part of the year. New Year’s Day over and people are getting ready either their best date (or their chagrin) for Valentine’s Day. In Asia, we’re celebrating the Lunar New Year with our dogs.

new yearImage source: static.tuoitrenews.vn

You may be asking a more pointed question about whether this is real as, say, your rent being due. To this, we’d say that embracing the idea of the Zodiac could add some richness to your life. Level with us: being a person is hard and there are often few instructions and little guidance. You might not be harmed by seeing yourself as an important character in a great narrative thousands of years old. You might benefit, even.

That is, unless you were born in the Year of the Dragon and don’t own anything red.

Banner Image source: 1freewallpapers.com