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Honoring Dogs During Chinese New Year Festival

Updated on February 11, 2013

A Celebration of Family

The fifteen day Chinese New Year Festival is a time of celebration and fun. Most of the activities center around family and friends.

This is a time for people to get together and renew bonds with family and friends. With the economic changes in China this takes on a somewhat added importance as millions of people, especially young people, have left their villages to seek opportunities in the cities.

For many, the fifteen day holiday is the one time in the year when these people have the time to return to their villages visit their family and friends. As a result, the roads, trains and buses are clogged with people heading home for the holiday.

Hub 1 for 30 Hubs in 30 Days

My dog, Chika, and I trying to write and publish 30 Hubs in 30 Days
My dog, Chika, and I trying to write and publish 30 Hubs in 30 Days | Source

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are traditionally a day when families gather to celebrate and renew bonds with each other as well as honor their ancestors who have passed from this life.

Day two of the festival is traditionally a time for married daughters to visit and spend time with the families they came from. A time to reconnect with the relatives of their youth, as traditionally a woman's focus turned to her husband's family following her marriage and this has been the one time many women have traditionally had to visit with their families.

For many, days three and four are a continuation of sorts of the Day 2 tradition as these two days are a time for husband's to pay respects to their wives' parents.

Honoring Dogs during Chinese New Year Celebrations.
Honoring Dogs during Chinese New Year Celebrations. | Source

Chika's Chinese New Year Doggie Birthday Party

Our dog, Chika, gets dressed for her party.
Our dog, Chika, gets dressed for her party. | Source
Ingredients for a birthday cake for our dog, Chika
Ingredients for a birthday cake for our dog, Chika | Source
The cake is simple - candles and some colored dry dog food bits on Chika's favorite canned dog food
The cake is simple - candles and some colored dry dog food bits on Chika's favorite canned dog food | Source

Day Two Celebrates the Birthday of All Dogs

However, it is not just people with whom connections are re-established. According to tradition Day 2 is also considered to be the birthday of all dogs. On this day people are extra kind to dogs in honor of their birthday.

Dogs, of course, have had a long relationship with humans in all parts of the world. While dogs have long been used as helpers and workers assisting humans in such activities as herding and helping to manage cattle and sheep, in hunting, defending and guarding property, etc. In modern times dogs have been best known as pets and companions for humans.

Because dogs have such a close relationship with humans and, in many cases, considered as a part of the families they live with, it is not surprising that they should be honored during the Chinese New Year Festival.

Dogs are one of the twelve animals used to name years on a rotating basis in the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Dog occurs once every twelve years and is between the Year of the Rooster and the Year of the Pig.

Be Nice to a Dog on February 15th

This year, the Year of the Tiger, the birthday celebration for dogs will be Monday February 15, 2010 which is the second day of this year's Chinese New Year Celebration.

So, be extra nice to any dogs in your life on this day.  Give your dog a pat on the head, take it for a walk or, better still, throw a birthday party for your pet.

Our dog, Chika's, birthday cake
Our dog, Chika's, birthday cake | Source
Candles glowing on the dog's birthday cake
Candles glowing on the dog's birthday cake | Source
Our dog, Chika, would prefer to skip the singing of "Happy Birthday" and just dive into the cake.
Our dog, Chika, would prefer to skip the singing of "Happy Birthday" and just dive into the cake. | Source
Our dog, Chika, patiently waits as we sing Happy Birthday
Our dog, Chika, patiently waits as we sing Happy Birthday | Source
Our dog, Chika, asks "Candles are out so when do we eat?"
Our dog, Chika, asks "Candles are out so when do we eat?" | Source
Our dog, Chika, asks "Why waste time cutting the cake?"
Our dog, Chika, asks "Why waste time cutting the cake?" | Source
Chika the dog says "Enough with the photos - Let's eat!"
Chika the dog says "Enough with the photos - Let's eat!" | Source
Come on! Dogs don't eat with chopsticks
Come on! Dogs don't eat with chopsticks | Source
Got it!
Got it! | Source
Desert?
Desert? | Source
What's with the paper inside?
What's with the paper inside? | Source
Got to get all the crumbs.
Got to get all the crumbs. | Source
That was good.
That was good. | Source
Chika's Fortune
Chika's Fortune | Source
It's a HubMob!
It's a HubMob! | Source
Chika, our dog, hard at work on her computer
Chika, our dog, hard at work on her computer | Source

© 2010 Chuck Nugent

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    • profile image

      Marzime 

      7 years ago

      this is a great hub.. I really enjoyed reading it!

    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      7 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Leborne - No, the dog isn't Chinese. She just likes to party, regardless of the occasion.

    • profile image

      Lebrone 

      7 years ago

      Wait... is the dog chinese?

    • profile image

      Jose Damaso Ramon 

      8 years ago

      Happy Chinese New Year.

      I am a monkey myself and I would like to know more about Chinese culture.

      It is interesting to have channel for the Chinese culture to flow into our western world, in such a way that we can understand the mystery and intrigue that surrounds this unique cultural world.

      Great fortune and perfect health for everyone of us in this Tiger year.

    • babyching profile image

      babyching 

      8 years ago from Beijing, China

      Great hub Chuck! It's much better to honor dogs than eat them. =)

    • profile image

      Ducks are not so Lucky 

      8 years ago

      In Thailand it is traditional for Chinese people to honour ducks and chickens, at New Year, often with a full hour of prayer. Then it is traditional to eat them.

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      ROFL, what a unique hub! I'm sure you have given many dog owners ideas for this Chinese New Year. Thanks for sharing Chika's experience of a dream come true... LOL!

    • ntweisen profile image

      ntweisen 

      8 years ago

      Sooo cute! I love dogs. And animals in general. :)

    • profile image

      dfelker 

      8 years ago

      Soooo cute! Just so happens we celebrate our dog Jesse's birthday each year on Feb 15th. She's 12, so born in the Year of the Tiger! We do a "dog food and treat" birthday cake for her too but it doesn't look nearly as good as your dog's!

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 

      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      This is great, hope the pooch doesn't get TOO spoiled! Lovely, though.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      8 years ago

      Great pictures. Happy New Year!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Well, this is welcome and refreshing cuteness all over. Happy New Years!

    • Ladda Boonmee profile image

      Ladda Boonmee 

      8 years ago from Vancouver

      It is so sweet. I love this story. Thank you.

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 

      8 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Very delightful hub! Great pictures...Good info on the festival.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      8 years ago from south Florida

      Hey, Chuck, this hub was ho ho. (good) Love the pics of your dog.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Chuck, Great hub. I didn't know about the dogs. I love the picture of the dog being fed with chop sticks. All the pictures were good.

    • theirishobserver. profile image

      theirishobserver. 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      excellent hub....very funny....love the cake....I must try that with my dog....

    • genrp profile image

      Genie Rose Palabay-De Guzman 

      8 years ago from North Hollywood, CA, USA

      wow! great hub..Kung Hei Fat Choi

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 

      8 years ago from India

      So sweet! I'm sure Chikki has enjoyed the celebration of the Chinese New Year and is wondering when it will be time for seconds!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Chuck I just love this wonderful fantastic hub, however they said I was born in the year of the rat! uk that is not something I can accept. LOL, I love those wonderful pictures, and hey check I doing the 30 in 30 days, I am in my third day, why not join me? We can push each other to to finish the challenge. Great hub, thanks for sharing.

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