It's the first day of the Chinese New Year and this year, it is the year of the dog. Also know as the Luna New Year and Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year is celebrated with lavish family banquets, whilst stunning lanterns line the streets- it's quite a spectacle!
In Chinese astrology, each year is associated with a Chinese Zodiac animal in accordance with the twelve year cycle. In the past, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and now 2018, have all been the year of the dog.
In Chinese element theory each Zodiac sign is associated with five elements; gold, wood, water, fire and earth. There are therefore, five different types of dog, each with individual characteristics. For instance, if you were born in 1958 or this year, you would be the Earth Dog and posses great communicative abilities, have a serious outlook on life and be responsible in the workplace. Born on November 30th 1874, Winston Churchill was in fact a Wood Dog! It is said that Wood Dog's are sincere, reliable, considerate, understanding and patient. The sincerity of Churchills's wartime speeches and his ability to lead our country in its most darkest hours, certainly suggests that this description isn't that far off the mark!
Whilst 2018 may be the Chinese new year of the dog, it seems that in Britain, our attention is always on those four legged friends. It is apparent that we are becoming an incredibly dog-friendly nation, perhaps most profoundly highlighted by establishments such as The Egerton House Hotel in Knightsbridge. Here, your dog will receive a full pet concierge service- a thoroughly pampering experience!
As early as the 17th Century, it is apparent that dogs have been an intrinsic part of the British monarchy- from King Charles Spaniels, Wire Fox Terriers, Poodles and perhaps the breed which is associated most with the Royals-the Corgi.
(Source: royal.gov.uk )
This painting from 1635 depicts the three eldest children of King Charles I alongside their two King Charles Spaniels.
(Source: Daily Mail)
Queen Elizabeth II looking rather glamorous with four of her corgis.
Arguably, one of the nation's most beloved children's programmes, Blue Peter has since 1962, seen dogs play an integral role in assisting the show's wide reaching appeal.
(Source: bbc.co.uk )
The first 'television pet', Petra. She appeared on the show between 1962 and 1977.
Image shows presenter John Noakes with Shep, perhaps one of the most renowned dogs from the show.
Downton Abbey's, Isis, Lord Grantham's trusted and beloved companion has also become one of our nation's favourite furry friends. It was a very tense time for us all when Thomas' failed plan to impress Robert saw Isis go missing, even if it was for a brief period!
(Source: Daily Express)
Let's face it, as a nation, we are dog mad and whilst it may be the Chinese Year of the Dog, for Britain, it seems our attention is drawn to our four legged friends for much more than just 365 days!
Written by Abbie Coombes.