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Barking dog brings about wealth, fortune
Updated: 2006-01-29 10:58

Dog barking is no unpleasant noise but an auspice of fortune in the ears of Chinese, especially in the coming Year of the Dog in the Chinese lunar calendar, which starts on Jan. 29 this year and ends on Feb. 17 next year.

JanuaJanuary 29 welcomes in the Year of the Dog under the Chinese zodiac.ry 29 welcomes in the Year of the Dog under the Chinese zodiac.
Chinese people like the barking sound because "woof-woof" makes an association of the Chinese character "wang," which means prosperity.

"Wang-Wang" might be the most welcomed expression in a country where the people are seeking a better living and striving for the nation's rejuvenation.

The advertisements of a snack branded "Wang-Wang" grabbed the prime time of the country's TV commercials as the Chinese lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival, approached.

A loyal, obedient animal, dogs are also thought to be able to bring fortune by Chinese people. As a Chinese saying goes, "Cats comes with poverty, while dogs with property."

Businessman Wang Yiming in Hefei, capital of Anhui Province in east China, said that he hopes the Year of Dog can bring him more business opportunities and profits.

"But I have little time to enjoy the festivity, as I have to work to arrange goods supply for my sales after the market reopens at the end of the holiday week," said Wang, who sells suitcases and gripsacks at a small commodities wholesale market in Hefei.

Farmer Yao Dawen in Xiaotao village, Feidong county, is dreaming to strut his stuff in the coming year. "I hope the government can help level our crisscrossed small fields into larger stretches in the new year. It's hard for us to increase the yield on the small fields," said the farmer.

The scheme to construct a "new countryside" will be launched in Yao's village in March. The "new countryside" scheme was inked into the proposed outlines of the country's 11th Five-Year Program for Economic and Social Development for the 2006-2010 period.

Under the scheme, the Chinese government is to inject more financial resources to rural areas to improve the infrastructures there and rural residents' living conditions.

The country will also see a marriage rush in the Year of Dog, a year considered auspicious for wedding.

The lunar cycle of this year has 385 days, a phenomenon that has occurred only 12 times in more than 2,300 years between 221 BC and 2100. The last 385-day lunar year was 1944.

As the year is unusually long, it will have 13 months, with an intercalary month between the seventh and eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, as well as two "lichun" -- the auspicious day marking the beginning of spring -- on Feb. 4 of 2006 and 2007 respectively.

Zhang Lihua, a company clerk in Hefei, will tie the knot on the second day of the lunar New Year. "I hope my bride and I are lucky enough to get the bliss in the Year of the Dog, and I also hope we can have a son in the year," Zhang said.

The Chinese lunar calendar counts the years with a rotation of the names of 12 animals. The cycling starts with rat, then follow ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster and dog, and ends with pig.

It is believed that Chinese people had begun to use the 12 animals to count the years back in the imperial Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD).

The Year of the Rooster will end on Jan. 28. China maintained its solid growth momentum in 2005, with an increase of 9.9 percent in GDP amid oil price hikes, trade disputes and frequent disasters.

The country launched its second manned space mission last October.

However, the Year of the Rooster seemed to have not brought any good luck to the country's chickens because of the hit of the avian influenza.

In 2005, the major domestic birds-raising country witnessed 32 cases of the epidemic. Ten people were infected and seven died.

The loss caused by bird flu, however, could not dampen the enthusiasm of the nation to look forward a prosperous new year.

The country's legislators will gather in March at an annual plenary session. They are expected to give green light to the country's development blueprint for the next five years.

"I'm sure my business will be more flourishing in the Year of the Dog. Let's wait and see," said businessman Wang Yiming.

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