When Is Chinese New Year 2018?

Get ready to welcome the Year of the Dog.
2018 is the Year of the Dog.
2018 is the Year of the Dog.

Chinese New Year marks the beginning of the new lunar calendar, which is why the date of the festivities changes from year to year. In 2018, we'll wave goodbye to the Year of the Fire Rooster and say hello to the Year of the Earth Dog on Feb. 16.

Chinese astrology associates a zodiac animal with each year on a 12-year cycle, and each cycle is assigned one of five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, or water. The pairing of the zodiac animal with an element determines the specific character traits that will be prominent among people born in the same year.

The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.
The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.

According to China Highlights, those born after Feb. 16, 2018 in the Year of the Earth Dog will be "communicative, serious, and responsible in work." Dogs are also loyal and honest. They tend to have good health and experience lots of happiness.

Famous Earth Dogs include Madonna (born 1958), Michael Jackson (born 1958) and C.S. Lewis (born 1898). If you haven't noticed already, Earth Dogs only appear once every 60 years.

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But while the Dog is considered an auspicious animal, Quartz notes that it's actually bad luck when the zodiac sign is the same as the year you were born. So if you were born in 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958 and so on, you better watch out this year!

Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is celebrated across Asia and is commonly associated with lion dances, which ward off bad spirits, and red packets, which symbolize good luck and good fortune.

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