狗年快乐 Gǒunián Kuàilè

Happy Year of the Dog! (2006)

Go, Dog. Gǒu!!

January 29, 2006 began 狗年 gǒunián, year of the dog. (The previous year was chicken; the next, pig.)

The origin and evolution of the Pekingese type are somewhat obscure. "Short dogs" are mentioned in the official record of the Chou Dynasty (about 1000 B.C.) as part of the annual tribute sent from the States now known as the province of Shansi... In the seventh century A.D. the "Emperor of the Turkoman country" presented the Emperor of China with a male and a female dog, which are described as twelve inches long and seven inches high. They were little trick dogs of remarkable intelligence; they could lead horses by the reins and hold torches in their mouths to light the way for their imperial master when he came home from a party enlivened by the fraternal cups of wine of which Li Po sings so happily in many of his odes. The dogs came from Fu Lin, as Constantinople was called. ---C.A.S. Williams, Outlines of Chinese Symbolism and Art Motives, Dover 1976)

Other years of the dog include: 2030, 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934, 1922, 1910.

See the whole 12-year cycle!