As a person born of Chinese heritage, the Lunar New Year was like my version of Christmas. You had the constant feasting, the red envelopes filled with cash and the garish red and gold decorations hanging off every hook, door and corner.
It was great.
However, my infatuation with the holiday stopped there. I ate the food, and the days and days of leftovers that would remain, bowed diligently while taking my red pocket, and spent Chinese New Year (which this year falls on the 16th of February) strategically avoiding cleaning up. It ‘throws away’ the bad luck you see.
The day just came and left.
Then, last year while working in fashion retail, a very distraught girl ran in looking for something gold, gold jewellery to be exact. She said that awful things had been happening to her, and was told by her family’s fortune teller (some more superstitious families will have these) that this year was going to be ominous.
She was born in the year of the rooster, and it was her ‘birth year,’ which according to Chinese folk lore brings a year of bad luck.
However, now 12 months later, it’s the year of the dog, where those born after mid-February (roughly) in 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958 or 1946 will be experiencing the same fate.
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Speaking to Doctor Xiaohuan Zhao (Huan) – an expert in Chinese literature from the University of Sydney, he said that this folk legend is still believed by many today.
He says that those born in the year of the dog have the following traits – loyalty, sensitivity, a conservative attitude, a lot of energy, and cautiousness.
And when it comes to your ‘luck’, those born in the year of the dog, could made you more susceptible to certain misfortunes, says Huan.