As our Western New Year comes and goes, for Asians, the Lunar New Year holiday approaches. It is also known as the Chinese New Year. There is much symbolism and tradition built into each new year of the lunar calendar as it originated over 3,500 years ago! Each new year represents one of the 12 zodiac animals that are symbolic to the traditional Chinese culture and how people see themselves and their relationship with the world.

On February 16, we will enter into the YEAR OF THE DOG. The dog became a zodiac animal because of its close relationship with people (YES – irony here right?!). The Chinese are one of the first cultures to domesticate dogs from grey wolves. In Chinese folklore, the Jade Emperor (the ruler of heaven) is said to have selected the dog as one of the zodiacs because of its wisdom.

People born during the Year of the Dog are supposed to inherit some of the animal’s known characteristics. For the dog these include loyalty, patience and reliability. Since 2018 is considered an “earth” year, those born in this year will be “earth dogs” and carry the additional characteristics of being communicative and responsible.

This is all very fascinating to mom and myself. With exception of Vietnam (they follow a different zodiac calendar), it seems to us that this is the perfect year to exploit the fact that eating dogs in China (and Asia) is NOT a tradition. Rather the tradition began by revering the beauty and wisdom of dogs – to the point of incorporating them into their zodiac calendar! We have many thoughts and research to continue with this idea but wanted to welcome everyone into this new year with some positive thoughts and hope!