Socrates, François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire), Grigori Rasputin, Albert Einstein, Molière, Elvis Presley, Lenin, Silvester Stallone, Michael Jackson, Winston Churchill, Harry Houdini, Cher. These are just some of the famous people who were born in the year of the dog, by nature honest, friendly, faithful and family-loving.
Celebrated this year from 16 February to 2 March, the Chinese New Year is a popular festival marked by a quarter of the world’s population that is typically the scene of big family reunions between those who celebrate this festival.
Lanterns, ornaments, fireworks and dragons filled the streets stained red to celebrate the arrival of the New Year in style and to ward off evil spirits. During these days of celebration, superstition and customs find their way among the people, who avoid talking about the past in order not to bring them bad luck. During this time, it is also frowned upon to punish children, who often take advantage of the occasion to become a little more mischievous.
The traditional festivities end with the Lantern Festival, when lanterns are lit and thrown up into the air with messages of hope and wishes written on them.
Our colleagues from Fluidra in China wanted to pay homage to this celebration and brought some of their traditions into the workplace by hanging up ornaments and red lanterns in their offices. They also organized a meal to strengthen the ties with their workmates and held a quiz.
The Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar, so each New Year coincides with the appearance of the first new moon in the lunar calendar, which ranges from 21 January to 20 February. It has now left 4715 behind, the year of the rooster, which was particularly generous to hard workers, to welcome in 4716, the year of the dog, full of promise for love and health. This follows the Chinese zodiac and, therefore, each year is assigned one of the animals that make it up. In other words, according to tradition, each person’s sign of the zodiac is decided by the year in which they were born.
There are various legends that attempt to explain how the zodiac came about. One of the most widely accepted is that Buddha called all of the animals on Earth together, but only 12 turned up, the ones that appear in the zodiac. Another of the most well-known stories says that the animals in the zodiac were the quickest to end a race organized by the Jade King .
The zodiac is so popular amongst the Chinese that instead of asking how old people are or their year of birth, they are quite often asked what animal they are , as everybody knows the order in which the animals follow each other inside out.
Be that as it may, each animal has a set of characteristics that are supposed to affect each person’s personality and that will also influence us according to the year we are in. That is why this year, ruled by the figure of the dog, will bring us a lot of happiness and good fortune .