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 Year of the Dragon infographic
Graphic shows Year of the Dragon factfile.


Enter the Dragon for Chinese New Year

By Phil Bainbridge

February 10, 2024 - The Year of the Dragon – the most coveted of all zodiac signs – begins on February 10, the date of the second new moon after the winter solstice.

The Lunar New Year is the biggest holiday in the Chinese calendar and begins 15 days of festivities. It’s a time for family gatherings, feasts and temple visits, when people are eager to know the fate predicted for them in the coming year.

The zodiac cycle of twelve animal signs derives from Chinese folklore as a method for naming the years. The animals – rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig – follow one another in an established order and are repeated every twelve years. Some recent Dragon years are: 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000 and 2012.

Dragons are the only mythical creature in the Chinese horoscope and occupy a special place in the hearts of Chinese around the world, symbolising power and good fortune.

The dragon occupies the fifth place in the horoscope when it would have been expected to be the first, but according to legend, the order was determined by the Jade Emperor who set all the animals to race one another. The dragon would have won but with his generous spirit stopped to help a village suffering from drought, another threatened by flood, and to save the life of the rabbit who was being pursued by a wolf.

Dragons are said to be courageous, tenacious, confident,
decisive, imaginative, energetic, romantic, exciting and warm-hearted, but also demanding, tactless, fiery, stubborn and arrogant, and At least some of these characteristics can probably be seen in famous Dragons like Bruce Lee, Rihanna, Vladimir Putin, John Lennon, Joan of Arc, Julius Caesar and Boris Johnson!

PUBLISHED: 08/02/2024; STORY: Graphic News