It is the unconditional love and resiliency that has earned dogs their title of “man’s best friend.”
With the darkness of tonight’s new moon, we welcome the 2018 Chinese Zodiac Year of the Earth Dog. Unlike the Yin energy of last year, the Yang Earth Dog is accompanied by more masculine external energy – an energy that is usually quick and fleeing. The Dog is a grounded identity whose ability to live in the present and unwavering stability allow him to build a solid foundation that will support future success. 2018 is a year of balance, a merging of more outward action complemented by periods of quieter reflection. Like that of a dog, playful activity is often followed by rest. Mother Nature is predicted to play a role in this Earth year – giving us another opportunity to embrace the slower pace of the dog by listening, learning, and building stronger roots that will withstand future challenges.
Each Chinese New Year is assigned an animal identity. Ancient legends proclaim that Buddha requested the company of all animals to join him in welcoming the New Year. The twelve animals who joined him are those which now give each year its astrological identity. The first day of each lunar month is marked by the darkest day of the moon’s cycle and moves toward the middle of the month with increased brightness. In China, the first month of each year begins with 15 days of celebrations that culminate with a lantern festival on the month’s brightest moonlit evening. Throughout the two-week celebration, families prepare their homes, share elaborate feasts, and give gifts to promote good fortune in the coming year.
The Tri-State region, with its beautiful landscape and rich cultural diversity, is the perfect place to embrace the spirit of the 2018 Yang Earth Dog – explore, relax, and reflect in the beauty of the Berkshires.