Lunar New Year: year of the dog and a celebration of culture

Lunar New Year is a good time to reflect on positive contributions made by the Australian-Chinese community, according to Director of the University’s Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture, Professor Labao Wang. However, 2018’s Year of the Dog, might not bring good fortune for all.

“Across the arts, economy, medicine and pretty much every other field, the Australian-Chinese community have helped build Australia into the nation it is today. Lunar New Year is a great time to reflect upon and celebrate this,” says Professor Wang.

“This year marks the year of the dog, an animal that is very much valued in the Chinese culture – however not extremely good perhaps for those born in a year of the dog. This is because it is traditionally believed people are less lucky when their birth year and zodiac year meet.  

“This doesn’t mean dog people should avoid all risk, as there are ways you can shield yourself against bad luck – a lot of people believe wearing red is one of them.”

According to Professor Wang, wearing anything red in your zodiac year according to Chinese popular beliefs, might help shield dog people from bad luck. This is because red symbolises light, vitality and the, "burning fire that keeps anything negative away."

The Chinese Zodiac started more than 2000 years ago, when it became a popular way to determine a person’s birth year and age. It is a 12-year cycle, with each year associated with a zodiac animal. According to Professor Wang, it is believed that, over time, people began associating characteristics of the animal of their birth year, with their own personalities.

“For example, people born in the year of the dog are thought to be loyal, cheerful and protective. In the Gregorian calendar, these are people born in: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and 2018. If this includes you, I would suggest investing in some red items!” says Professor Wang.


16 February 2018

Emma Sandham, Senior Media Officer.