Back left
Back right

Chinese New Year 2018: The Year of the Dog!

Chinese New Year begins on February 16 in 2018 and is celebrated for 15 days.

Feb 13, 2018

Chinese New Year begins on February 16th in 2018 and is celebrated for the next 15 days until March 2nd. New Year’s Day marks the beginning of the Spring Festival, and ends with a lantern festival on the final day. Celebrations may begin in the dead of winter but they are a sign that spring is just around the corner, so everyone is filled with hope and optimism. That is why the New Year is seen as a symbol of luck and new beginnings.

Fortune Tales | The Story of Chinese New Year


Chinese New Year is celebrated with 15 days of feast, family, parades, fireworks, and a whole lot of fun!

You don’t need to live in China or be Chinese to celebrate!

Families often reunite from near and far for a New Year’s Feast that includes traditional foods like egg rolls, which look like gold bars and symbolize fortune, long noodles that symbolize long life, a whole fish to symbolize togetherness, and shrimp, which symbolizes abundance. After a feast or any New Year celebration, firecrackers are lit outside in the streets to scare off evil spirits. Fireworks end every parade, lion dance, and dragon dance as well. Some traditions say the loud noises and light scare off bad spirits, others believe it banishes bad luck, and still others say it will awaken the dragon to bring on the spring rains. Whatever the reason, Chinese New Year fireworks always light up the night with joy and excitement!

2015 Hong Kong New Year FireworksFireworks were invented in China in around 200 BCE when people roasted hollow bamboo sticks over a fire until they exploded in order to ward off evil spirits. 800 years later, they accidentally discovered gunpowder, which they then stuffed into the bambooCourtesy of China Tour Advisors

Celebrating Luck

Fu 福 is the symbol of good fortune. You can find it written almost everywhere at Chinese New Year celebrations, from red envelopes filled with money to New Year decorations. The signs are often red and gold. Red and gold symbolize good luck in many cultures, including in China. People traditionally wear red and gold clothing and light red lanterns to invite luck into their lives for the year. Adult relatives give Children red envelopes that contain money. And people decorate their houses with red paper crafts such as firecrackers, fans, lanterns, dragons, and signs.

Gong Hey Fat ChoyThe most common way to wish someone a Happy New Year is Gong Xi Fa Cai in Mandarin or Gong Hey Fat Choy in Cantonese.Courtesy of Chinese Family Adventure

Celebrating Optimism

The Lantern Festival occurs on the final day of the New Year Celebration, which also happens to be the first full moon of the year. In 2018, it will be on March 2. People gather beneath the full moon to watch a parade of clowns, stiltwalkers, acrobats, floats, and musicians. Each person, even small children, carry lanterns at the festival. The parade ends with a Chinese Lion Dance, Chinese Dragon Dance, and Laughing Buddha accompanied by drums, gongs, and cymbals.

Chinese New Year Lion Dance


In this video, a Chinese Lion Dance is being performed by a martial arts dance troupe. Guests often “feed” the lion red envelopes filled with money to help fund the performance and festivities.

4715 Is the Year of Brown Earth Dog

Chinese New Year begins on February 16th in 2018. It is celebrated on the first new moon day of the first Chinese lunar month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar system, so it falls on a different day each year for everyone else. The Chinese calendar reckons years differently as well. In China, 2018 corresponds to the year 4715. But the Chinese calendar uses more than just numbers to mark years. It also includes the Chinese concepts of Yin (female) and Yang (male), five elements (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth), and 12 animals to mark the name. But wait, there’s more! The five elements are also connected to five colors - White, Black, Green, Red, and Brown. 

Since 2018 is the year of Yang-Male-Earth-Dog, and the color brown is connected to Earth, 2018 is also known as “Brown Earth Dog Year”. The Chinese Horoscope interprets each of the elements in the name of the year to predict what the coming year will bring and help guide your actions. 

2018 is the year of the brown earth dogAnyone born between February 4, 2018 and February 3, 2019 is born in the year of the Brown Earth Dog. Courtesy of 9to5 Animations

Symbols of 2018

2018’s symbol is a picture of mountains over mountains. These mountains symbolize a strong connection to the earth and a focus on things like land, nations, farming, and homes. Mountains symbolize a lot of other things, too, like obstacles (things that are in your way to prevent you from seeing what’s coming next or achieving your goals), saving and storing money, and the qualities of laziness, boredom, and being stubborn. In Chinese symbology, a dog is a symbol of loyalty, luck, and fortune.

Astrologers tell us that if you fight the urge to be lazy, if you act quickly, and if you think twice before spending money, 2018 will be a good year for you to build your wealth and achieve great things.  

Things that may bring good luck in the Year of the Dog:

  • Numbers: 3, 4, 9
  • Colors: green, red, purple
  • Flowers: rose, orchid
  • Directions: east, southeast, south

Things that may bring bad luck in the Year of the Dog:

  • Numbers: 1, 6, 7
  • Colors: blue, white, golden
  • Direction: north, west

If You Were Born in the Year of the Dog…

If you were born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, or 2006, your sign is the Dog

People born in the Year of the Dog are usually independent, sincere, loyal and decisive. They are not afraid of a good challenge, and don’t let fear hold them back. They generally have a lot of positive energy and are very reliable, too. People born in a Dog year are great friends and companions. 

On the down-side, Dogs can tend to be quite stubborn, emotional and sensitive. They often resist change. 

It is said that when the Lunar Year is the same as your birth year, it will be an unlucky year for you. For example if you are a Dog in the Chinese horoscope, you will face more challenges than most in 2018. This year, people born in the year of the dog will find it hard to get out of a familiar routine to face challenges, but they should work as hard as they can to find a good balance in their lives — like a balance between family, schoolwork, friends, money, health, and your inner life. For a Dog, the year ahead may be challenging and tiring at times, but lucky for you, your personality type loves a challenge, so you’ll be able to rise up and defeat any obstacles… if you can manage to get up out of that comfy chair. 

Have Your Say

What do you like most about the Chinese New Year Celebration? Do you celebrate with family or friends? Share your thoughts and join the conversation below!