[By Margaret Starner]

The Chinese zodiac is made up of 12 different signs (all animals).  In addition to the 12 signs, the calendar also includes 5 elements (earth, metal, water, wood, and fire) which have a strengthening or moderating influence upon the signs.  Hence, in total, the Chinese calendar goes in a 60-year cycle (12 signs multiplied by the 5 elements). This year, the place in the calendar and zodiac makes 2018 the year of the Brown Earth Dog.   

An important part of welcoming the New Year is to prepare for good luck and ward off bad luck.

  • Celebrate with RED…wear red clothing, write poems on red paper and give children money in red envelopes. Why red? In China, red symbolizes fire which, according to legend, drives away bad luck.
  • Clean your house and yourself on New Year’s Eve (This was Feb 15, 2018). Do all sweeping/dusting or hair washing before New Year’s Day (Feb. 16, 2018) as there is fear of sweeping or washing away your good luck for the New Year.
  • Pay off your debts before the New Year!
  • Do not lend or cry on the New Year…as it is thought that anyone who lends or cries on the New Year will be lending or crying all year round. (this is how you keep complainers and children quiet)
  • Do not cut on New Year Day as you might cut away your good fortune
  • Welcome the DRAGON – the loud cymbals and drumming that comes along with the dragons are thought to chase away evil spirits as well.
  • Use fireworks galore – In the old days, bamboo was set on fire, the crackling flames are meant to frighten the evil spirits. Modern-day fireworks have taken the place of bamboo but are still thought to do the same thing.

Review of Past Dog Years:

2006 Fire Dog

  • The Yogyakarta earthquake kills nearly 6,000 people in Indonesia
  • Warren Buffett donates more than US$30bn to the Gates Foundation
  • Twitter launched
  • Pluto loses planetary status- downgraded to dwarf planet
  • Saddam Hussein sentenced to death and executed
  • Google buys YouTube for $1.65 billion
  • Italy wins the World Cup in Germany
  • Price of gas $3.03/gal.

1994 Wood Dog

  • The USA and China get their first internet link
  • Nelson Mandela becomes President of South Africa
  • First conference on the World Wide Web begins in San Francisco
  • Construction begins at the Three Gorges Dam in China
  • Channel Tunnel between France and England opens
  • Norway votes NO to join the European Union
  • Brazil wins World Cup in US
  • OJ Simpson flees police in white Bronco
  • Price of gas $1.09/gal

1982 Water Dog

  • The first computer virus is released as a joke
  • Adobe Systems founded
  • Argentina begins the Falklands War
  • Israel invades Lebanon
  • Time’s Man of the Year is the computer
  • First Issue of USA Today published
  • Price of gas 91 cents/gal
  • Italy Wins World Cup in Spain
  • Epcot in Disney World Opens

1970 Metal Dog

  • Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty goes into effect after being ratified by 43 nations
  • Hijacking of JAL flight 351
  • Pan Am Boeing 747 makes it first commercial trip from NY to London
  • 100,000 people in Washington demonstrate against the Vietnam War
  • Syria invades Jordan
  • Beatles disbanded
  • Russian Lunar 17 mission sends first robot device to the moon
  • Price of Gas 36 cents/gal
  • Postage stamp 6 cents

2018 Earth Dog – What to Expect


  • In Chinese astrology, the dog is the most likable, honest and straightforward of all animals. Its influence is expected to bring a year of justice and harmony. The Year of the Dog will bring happiness and dissent in the same boat.
  • The Chinese Horoscope 2018 predicts that this year of the Brown Earth Dog is going to be a good year in all respects, but it will also be an exhausting year. You will be happy, yet frustrated, rested, yet tired, cheerful, yet dull!
  • Refreshed and regenerated, the Dog will accelerate the initiation of all things, but this will bring, in the same time, pressure and stress in the everyday life.
  • All will want to pay special attention to their health. The year 2018 is the ideal time to start eating healthy, doing sports and getting rid of bad habits.
  • The year of the Earth Dog is a good time for lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, changing residences or starting a new business venture.
  • Postponing and negligence are words you will need to remove from your vocabulary during this year.
  • The Chinese zodiac sign of the Dog, a symbol of intelligence and protection, can also turn the year 2018 into a sensitive period, during which activists and students, but also ordinary citizens, won’t hesitate to demand radical changes to theirlife conditions, and to preserve the future of their children.

What’s in store for you? 

See Chart below to determine your Zodiac sign

Rat (1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008) – The year will be kind to you. It is a fairly good year for you. Despite your inner voice to the contrary, you have no serious reason to complain or worry. Celebrate the many good things you’ve been given.

Ox (1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009) – It may appear to be a good harvest for the Ox, but do take some precautions.

Tiger (1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010) – You can expect the year to be a very good year for you. Dog year for you will be extremely wonderful! You will prosper this year when involved in projects.

Rabbit (1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011) – It is not exactly a good year nor is it a bad year. Be careful in all business ventures. Be careful about your diet, and think of getting more fresh air.

Dragon (1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2012) – This is generally not a good year for you. If you must travel, do be careful. You will also have a tendency to adopt overly radical positions at times; try to be more moderate. Beware: by refusing to make concessions, you’ll antagonize even those who only want to help you. Still you can expect luck to smile upon you.


Snake (1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013) – It is a great year for the Snake. You will discover new things that interest you and you will better understand the direction of your destiny.

Horse (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014) – A great year for the Horse to enjoy themselves. Don’t be doubtful of your abilities; you will find the necessary resources within yourself to make the most of changing conditions.

Goat / Sheep (1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015) – A great year for the Goat and full of surprises! Important you give top priority to your health to make the most of this year.

Monkey (1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016) – It is a good time for your hard work as they will all be recognized. Better to remain confident when you actually feel like sweating! If you act, rather than panic, you will find brilliant solutions and triumph over difficulties.

Rooster (1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017) – If you need to make good decisions, make it now. Generally, quite a good year. This year, it will be in your best interest to think of other people more. Good fortune will smile upon you if you put your family and friends first.

Dog (1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018) – It is your year, so do be careful in whatever you wish to do. Still, you will have good luck in most areas of your life. Develop two key qualities – the art of negotiating and the ability to make sensible choices.

Boar / Pig (1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019)- It is a year of fulfillment for you. The Pig is going to have many opportunities this year. Important not to be too ” piggy”.

A point of interest:

Donald Trump is the 4th American president born in the Dog Year (1946), but is the first American president to hold the presidency in the Year of the Dog and the only American president who has no dog.

[By Margaret Starner]

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