Year of the Dog

2018 is the Year of the Dog in the Chinese calendar.

The dog is the symbol of loyalty and honesty (which isn’t terribly surprising).  People born in the Year of the Dog will possess the best qualities observed in our dogs:   things like honesty, loyalty and intelligence.

The Temple of Eighteen Deities in Taiwan is often cited as an example of the dog’s loyalty in the Chinese tradition.

Taiwan dog

Statue of dog by the Eighteen Kings Temple. Photo by David Chen of the Taipei Times

As the story goes, 17 fishermen and their dog were crossing the Taiwan Strait when their boat capsized.   All of the fishermen drowned but the dog survived.  When the bodies washed ashore, the locals prepared a collective grave and ghost temple on a cliff overlooking the shore.   The dog was so loyal to its masters that it jumped into the grave with the bodies and refused to leave.   The dog was buried alive and called the 18th of the Eighteen Kings.

Chinese New Year begins on 16 February 2018.

 

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