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It’s the Year of the Dragon!

holiday - AMS FulfillmentThe Lunar New Year begins in China on February 10th this year. We’re hearing the buzz… it’s the Year of the Dragon!! Of course we want to know what is predicted to happen in the Dragon year! Let’s find out about the celebrations and the Chinese Zodiac predictions!

The Lunar New Year, called the Spring Festival, is celebrated in many Asian countries. The celebration kicks off on February 10th this year and lasts for up to 16 days, with the first seven days considered a public holiday. The Lantern Festival is the peak of the season.

The following is from People magazine [LINK]: “Originating in multiple countries in east Asia, the holiday is filled with rich culture and tradition that centers around the hope for good fortune and prosperity. Each year, the exact date differs as it’s based on the cycle of the moon, though it usually falls between Jan. 20 and Feb. 21 on the Gregorian calendar. Each year also has a corresponding animal from the Chinese zodiac, based on ancient Chinese mythology, and 2024 marks the Year of the Dragon.”

The Lunar New Year Traditions

The first tradition is to thoroughly clean the house. This is done to drive away any bad luck from the previous year. Another preparation is to pay off any debts so to start the new year fresh. Families also might buy new clothes and put Spring Festival decorations on the doors and windows.

On the evening of the first day, people go to the tombs of their ancestors and sweep the tomb, then return home for a family reunion dinner. This dinner is the most important of the year and several generations will come together. From USA Today [LINK] we read the following: “In China, the foods served at these dinners vary from north to south. Northern Chinese cuisine tends to have dumplings and noodles; southern Chinese meals rely heavily on rice cakes. Traditionally, people give out red envelopes with money and light fireworks after dinner.”

The small red envelopes containing money are given to children and family members, friends and employees as well. The color red is associated with energy, happiness and good luck. There may also be fireworks. Here’s an interesting tidbit from USA Today.

“Traditionally fireworks are set off to mark the new year and ward off monsters. According to legend, the origin of the practice goes back to a story about a monster called Nian, who is believed to have been causing great harm to some villages. In response, the villagers are said to have set off explosions to scare off the monster. Since then, it has become a tradition for Chinese New Year.”

The Festival of Lanterns comes on the final day. All types of lanterns are lit throughout the streets and they fill the sky, making the night into colorful, beautiful light. The celebration reaches its peak with the Lantern Festival.

The Year of the Dragon

From China Highlights [LINK] we read: “Wood Dragon. The Chinese zodiac gives each year an animal sign. Chinese New Year 2024 is a Year of the Dragon, more specifically, Wood Dragon, starting from February 10th, 2024, and lasting until January 28th, 2025. Recent/upcoming years of the Dragon are 2024, 2012, 2000, and 1988.”

In answer to the question… was I born in a Dragon year? Years of the Dragon go back to 1988, 1976, 1964, and 1952. People born in Dragon years are said to possess courage, tenacity, intelligence, enthusiasm and confidence.

Once again from China Highlights, we read: “In Chinese culture, the Dragon holds a significant place as an auspicious and extraordinary creature, unparalleled in talent and excellence. It symbolizes power, nobility, honor, luck, and success. 2024 is forecasted to bring about opportunities, changes, and challenges. If you’re seeking a shift in your current lives, this year might offer a favorable chance.”

The animals of the Chinese zodiac have fixed elements and variable elements, and wood is the fixed element of this year’s Dragon. The wood element is said to add a layer of creativity, growth and compassion, and the ability to be persuasive and communicative.

According to China Highlights: “The Dragon is known for its ambition, courage, and enthusiasm, while the Wood element adds a layer of creativity, growth, and compassion. Together, they suggest a year and people characterized by dynamic growth, innovation, and the ability to inspire and lead others.”

Find out Your Sign in the Zodiac

We will link you to the China Embassy website for a chart that tells you which animal you are according to your birth year:

“The Chinese zodiac, or shengxiao, refers to the circle of 12 animals that measure the cycles of time. Signs or animals are determined by the lunar year in which you were born.

“Legend has it that a god beckoned all animals to bid him farewell before his departure from Earth. Only 12 of them, namely the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig arrived, with each given a place of honor in a year based on the order of arrival.”

You can determine your animal sign by referring to the year you were born. There is also a listing of the attributes and personalities of each animal and some advice on which sign you might want to partner with. [Click HERE for the chart.]

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