Chinese New Year 2024 - Year of the Dragon

Today 10 February marks the beginning of the year of the Dragon. The Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year, is currently being celebrated over a span of 16 days, culminating today, Saturday, February 10, with the grand Lantern Festival.

This festive occasion holds immense significance in Asia and among Asian communities worldwide, engaging over 20% of the global population.

The Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year serves as a transition between zodiac signs. While 2023 marked the Year of the Water Rabbit, 2024 heralds the arrival of the Year of the Wood Dragon. The year of the Wood Snake will start 29 January 2025.

The Dragon

In the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac signs, the Dragon takes its place as the fifth animal, following the Rabbit and preceding the Snake. Recent Dragon years include 2024 (the current year), 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, and 1952, with the subsequent Dragon year expected in 2036, characterized as the Year of the Fire Dragon. The Dragon is symbolically linked to the earthly branch represented by the symbol "chen."

The Myth

A captivating myth surrounds the Dragon's placement in the zodiac. Legend has it that the Jade Emperor summoned all the animals to his palace in a “Great Race” (or possibly for a banquet), and the order in which they arrived determined the animal’s place in the zodiac. Although the Dragon possessed the capability to be the first, it encountered a drought-stricken village on the way. Choosing compassion over victory, the Dragon provided rain, arriving late to the race and accepting an honorable loss. The following positions were filled by the Snake, Horse, Goat, and the remaining animals.

The Zodiac sign

Individuals born in the Year of the Wood Dragon are recognized for their intelligence, attractiveness, and widespread popularity. Their ability to adapt to their surroundings and an innate sense of timing contribute to their success. While they navigate diverse social circles, their fiery temper might pose challenges in intimate relationships. Nevertheless, Wood Dragons often experience rapid financial success, making them the envy of many.

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Source: Chinese New Year

Photos from Datong taken by LIU Jianjun

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