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10 February 2024 – 28 January 2025 

The Year of the Wood Dragon (Chinese New Year) begins on 10 February 2024. And no, it’s not a dragon made of wood; the ‘wood’ here signifies creativity and imagination, not a timberyard’s special offer.

it’s time to flex those linguistic muscles and say, “Gong Hei Fat Choy,” which, in the language of tradition, translates to “May you become happy and prosperous in the year ahead.” Forget the basic stuff; we’re aiming for real happiness and prosperity here!

Depending on where you live, on 10 February 2024 you may hear firecrackers going off. This is to scare away those pesky evil spirits (especially the monster Nian who was believed to destroy houses and villages) and signal the start of a safe and prosperous new year.  

The first day of Chinese New Year is like the grand premiere – families gather, food flows, fireworks light up the sky, and red envelopes filled with cash make children the happiest little creatures on the planet.

Now, let’s talk about Dragons. Not the Game of Thrones kind – we’re talking about the Chinese zodiac, where your fortune for the year is influenced by the animal associated with your birth year. If you’re a ‘Dragon baby,’ born in 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952 and so on, congratulations! You’re in for a ride of new starts, hard work, growth, and prosperity. Lucky you!

The dragon is one of the luckiest and most powerful animals in the Chinese zodiac.

Every 12 years the animal with which your birth sign is associated comes around  (see image below). In turn each of those animal zodiac signs is associated with one of five elements: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire or Earth

This means a Wood Dragon only comes once in a 60-year cycle (do the maths – 12 zodiac signs times five elements). The most recent Wood Dragon was 1964 and the next Wood Dragon year will be 2084, 60 years from now.

Famous or celebrity ‘dragons’ include:

  • Charles Darwin 12 February 1809 (Earth Dragon)
  • Bruce Lee 27 November 1940 (Metal Dragon)
  • Vladimir Putin 7 October 1952 (Water Dragon)
  • Keanu Reeves 2 September 1964 (Wood Dragon)
  • Ryan Reynolds  23 October 1976 (Fire Dragon)

Some facts about Chinese New Year:

  • Although the Chinese New Year itself lasts 16 days, only the first 7 days are considered a public holiday.
  • During Chinese New Year, people often decorate their homes with red lanterns and paper cuttings, as red is considered a lucky colour in Chinese culture. It is also common to eat special foods such as fish, dumplings, and spring rolls, which are thought to bring good luck for the new year.
  • Showering isn’t allowed on New Year’s Day, and sweeping and throwing out garbage isn’t allowed before the 5th day. The intention behind this is to ensure you don’t wash away the good luck that the New Year brings.

Click here to see how the Year of the Dragon will impact you

After opening this site, scroll down until you see the Zodiac animals. Click on your particular animal to read a wealth of information about what influences you in the coming year. There’s no cost to this.

If you’re not sure of your animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, the site displays the years that correspond to each animal.  So 1998 for example would be a Tiger year. 

And the 5 elements….

  • Wood: creativity, imagination
  • Fire: passion, adventure
  • Metal: persistence, ambition
  • Water: agility, eloquence
  • Earth: patience, stability

Gong Hei Fat Choy

Graeme Dinnen

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