Year of the Earth Dog

February 16, 2018

Lunar New Year - 歲首

The traditional Chinese calendar is based on a lunisolar calendar, where months are based on the moon phases with the correctness of the sun placement. Calculation based on the phases of the moon makes Chinese New Year also known as the Spring Festival holiday, which falls between 21 of January and 21 of February. The lack of stable date comes from the fact, that the start of the New Year begins always with the new moon. Festivities last for 15 days and ends with The Lantern Festival (元宵節).




Each chinese year consists of two main characters: Celestial Stems (10) and Earthly Branches (12). Together they create a 60-year calendrical cycle.


Year of the Dog - 狗

The Earthly Branches, also known as Twelve Branches, is the arranging system used in East Asia. It’s an effect of the astrological calculations of the Jupiter orbit (about 11.862 of earth year) on the celestial circle, which then become divided into 12 sections. This system started the Asian concept of calculating time, directions and many traditions connected with its mnemonic presentation: 12 animals of Zodiac


Legend of Chinese zodiac I’ll leave for the next time.



The second sub-cycle of calendrical cycle consists of  Celestial Stems (天干) which in Chinese calendar become the Five Phases, Wu Xing (五行): Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.


If you want to know more, here is the Chinese calendar correspondence table or the photo below: 




To sum up: Before writing this article I thought I had a basic knowledge about Chinese calendar. Now I know, that I knew totally nothing and the real ‘basics’ are actually bachelor degree material. But anyway Happy New Year of the Earth Dog!!!


The main characteristics of the people born in the year of dog are: 

- responsible

- honest 

- trustworthy 

I would say it’s almost appropriate… well, maybe beside Madonna or Michael Jakson!


Sources: Various websites and something I’m not very proud of , Wikipedia.




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