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  Arts & Living
2006 "Year of the Dog" Dawns
Canines Revered by Koreans as One of 12 Animal Gods

Korea's traditional dogs of Sabsari

Dogs are often persecuted in South Korea as its people not only adore them but also enjoy their taste. But the Year 2006 may be a very special year for the canine animals as it will be the Year of Dog, one of Korean zodiac's 12 animal Gods.

Although some Koreans still seek dog meat as stamina food, dogs have always been loved by them as man's best friends as elsewhere in the world.

In fact, Korean people cherished their companion so much that they were even revered as even god's level.

Traditionally, Koreans also considered dogs as family members, often believing that humans could be reincarnated as a dog or vice versa.

The man's best friends means more than "royalty" or "companionship" to local people according to Korean zodiac of 12 Animal Gods ().

the Korean zodiac, which was based on the Chinese system of astrology, still wields a great deal of influence on many segments of Korean society.

The Korean zodiac consists of 12 signs which are called 12 Animal Gods (). Each sign is named after an animal; Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

There is a legend about the origin of animal zodiac. Buddha invited all the animals of the world to visit him and only 12 animals showed up. Then, he honored them by naming the year after them according to the order in which they are arrived. And 12 animals came to symbolize each year.

Each animal character indicates a specific year, time and direction by 12 division cycles. For instance, every year is named after an animal character in order. It means every 12th year has the same animal character and it starts all over again.

Also, 24 hours are divided by 12 division cycles, which means every two hours has its own animal character. And each character represents 30 degrees of direction as well.

The Korean zodiac system is not only an important measure, but also has special meaning to Koreans.

A person born in a certain year and at a certain time has a certain animal characteristic related to the Korean zodiac system.

When making decisions in life such as career, finance and marriage, it is common to get advice from fortune-tellerswho interpret fortune or destiny using the animal zodiac. It has been believed that one's destiny and personality rely on one's character, which is based on the Korean zodiac system.

For these reasons, an animal character of the year is an important factor in Korean society and next year is the Year of the Dog.

Here is a short description of the characteristics of the dog:

The Year of the Dog has been in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, and 2006.

People born in the Years of the Dog are characterized by being loyal and faithful. With the help of right friends they can be very successful socially.

They are also diligent and clever. They are naturally energetic workers with a strong sense of morality. In work places they are admired and appreciated by their superiors and colleagues alike. They are not only tenacious to the point of obstinacy, but also they are also bright enough to take advice from others.

People born in the year tend to dislike social occasions. In particular they are shy of standing out in public. They can have trouble expressing themselves, but make excellent listeners. They have a tendency to be very fair, and are quick to denounce injustices.

However, they tend to be pessimistic and can be wracked by worries and anxieties, which can lead to problems in love, and with life in general. They also tend to be irritable and bad-tempered. They are introverts who need someone else to draw them out.

In reference to marriage, the best possible consorts for folks born in the Year of Dog are the one born in the years of rat or rabbit in case of males, and the one born in the years of rat, ox, tiger, or dragon in case of females.

They should shun tying the knots with women born in the years of dragon, sheep, or rooster, whereas ladies should avoid marrying men born in the year of snake or dog.

Korean Zodiac of 12 Animal Characters

The Year of the Rat

The Year of the Rat:1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996. People born in the Year of the Rat are cheerful, thrifty, and resourceful. Bright and sociable, they are often very successful in business or politics. Although they guard their own secrets, they love to gossip about others. They can be generous at times, but their generosity extends only to those closest to them. Their compatible signs are Dragon, Monkey, and Ox.

The Year of the Ox

The Year of the Ox:1913, 1925, 1037, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997. People born in the Year of the Ox are hardworking, dependable, and down-to-earth. They are also quiet, methodical, and patient but are known for their fierce temper and stubbornness as well. Their most compatible signs are Snake, Rat, and Rooster.

The Year of the Tiger

The Year of the Tiger:1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998. People born in the Year of the Tiger are courageous, sincere, and affectionate. They also have a tendency to be suspicious, quick-tempered, and unpredictable. They inspire great respect in people but often come into conflict with elders or those in authority. Their practicality makes them good businesspeople. Horse is their most compatible sign. Other compatible signs are Dragon, Pig, and Dog.

The Year of the Rabbit

The Year of the Rabbit:1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are virtuous, considerate, lucky, and easily moved by the problems and misfortunes of others. They are also known for their excellent taste. Being naturally cautious, they make good businesspeople. Their compatible signs are Snake, Monkey, and Horse.

The Year of the Dragon

The Year of the Dragon:1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000. People born in the Year of the Dragon are energetic, humorous, capable, and idealistic.
Their decisiveness can at times make them seem overconfident, but they do inspire confidence and trust. They are also quite excitable, short-tempered, and stubborn. Their compatible signs are Monkey, Rat, and Rooster.

The Year of the Snake

The Year of the Snake:1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001. People born in the Year of the Snake possess great wisdom as well as charming personality. However, they also tend to be vain, selfish, and even a bit stingy. Lucky in financial matters, they seldom have to worry about money. At times, they are moved to help those who are less fortunate. Their compatible signs are Ox, Rooster, and Dragon.

The Year of the Horse

The Year of the Horse:1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978: 1990, 2002. People born in the Year of Horse are cheerful, active, and popular. They generally don't worry, and they adapt easily to different situations. They also tend to be fickle and overly talkative. Their ability to quickly analyze situations and handle business matters makes them good bankers and businesspeople. Their compatible signs are Tiger and Dog.

The Year of the Sheep

The Year of the Sheep:1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003. People born in the Year of the Sheep are gentle, compassionate, and often shy. They are also pessimistic and easily confused. Although they are born worriers, they are also quick to forget about their troubles. Their luck frequently brings them fortune as people leave them money in their wills. Their compatible signs are Horse, Pig, and Rabbit.

The Year of the Monkey

The Year of the Monkey:1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004. People born in the Year of the Monkey are quick-witted, versatile, and unique. They are good at making decisions but tend to look down on other people. Their ambitious drive often brings them wealth and fame. They are born innovators and also make good linguists. Their compatible signs are Dragon and Rat.

The Year of the Rooster

The Year of the Rooster:1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993. 2005. People born in the Year of the Rooster are often misunderstood. They are seemingly aggressive, self-assured, and even reckless, but are true conservatives at heart. They generally tend to promise more than they can give. They love to travel and to try different life-styles. They tend to have a moody disposition, and their fortunes, like their moods, swing high and low. Their compatible signs are Snake, Dragon, and Ox.

The Year of the Dog

The Year of the Dog:1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006. People who are born in the Year of the Dog are said to be intelligent and organized. They have a great sense of humor and are known for their loyalty and feeling of responsibility. They are also secretive and somewhat selfish and stubborn. Their honesty and fairness make them good judges. Their compatible signs are Horse, Tiger, Rabbit, and Pig.

The Year of the Pig

The Year of the Pig:1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995., 2007. People born in theYear of the Pig are courageous, loyal, and thoughtful. They also have a great thirst for knowledge. Quick-tempered and introverted, they have a hard time making friends, but their friendships are lasting. Sometimes they tend to be too honest for their own good. Not good at business, they are more suited to literature and the arts. Their compatible signs are Rabbit, Sheep, Dog, and Dragon.

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