Today, February 16, marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year.
Being based on both solar and lunar elements, the Chinese calendar is considered to be a lunisolar calendar - similarly to the Hebrew calendar: the first day of the new year corresponds to the new moon between January 21 and February 20, this period of time being near the midpoint between winter solstice and spring equinox. In addition to this, the Chinese calendar notoriously follows a cycle of 60 years (the so-called ganzhi), each year being connected to one of twelve zodiac signs.
2018 (or 4715, according to the Chinese calendar!) is thus the Year of the Dog, the Chinese zodiac sign associated with kindness, loyalty and good health. Folia Magazine wishes a happy Year of the Dog to all of our followers!
"Putto and dog following a bird", illumination from the Breviary of Marie of Savoy, ms. 004, f. 424r, ca. 1430, Bibliothèque Municipale, Chambéry.