Year of the Wood Dragon 2024
As Chinese New Year draws near again we say farewell to the Water Rabbit of 2023 and we welcome in a fresh new year with the energy of the Wood Dragon 2024.
It’s a time of family reunions and celebrations world wide not limited to China.
Countries including Japan, South Korea and Vietnam use the same calendar to celebrate this event and is known as the Lunar New Year.
In Australia New Year celebrations are seen in Chinatowns across the country. There will be fireworks, parades, lion dances and an abundance of diverse foods for 2 weeks.
Family and friends will gather and many will travel far and wide to be with loved ones. Temples will be busy for the receiving of blessings, joss sticks will be lit in huge bunches, and old and young will place them in huge urns and prayers will be offered for a happy and fortuitous year.
This Wood Dragon New Year begins Feb 10th and ends Feb 28th 2025.
There is much to know about Dragons in Chinese Astrology.
It is the 5th animal in the zodiac coming after the Rabbit and before snake.
There is a story about why dragon is 5th in place in the zodiac even though it was expected as the sacred mythical animal in Chinese culture to be honoured as the first.
Legend has it that the Jade emperor held a race in the heavenly realms to decide the animals places in the zodiac and bets were on the dragon to win the 1st prize.
On the way to the race the dragon encountered a village suffering from drought and feeling sorry for them he stopped to give them rain to help their crops. Further in the race he came across a village that was threatened by flood so he opened his mouth swallowed the water and by his powers moved it out to the sea averting the disaster to the village. And finally as he hurried on his way to finish the race he observed that Rabbit was being chased by a wolf. So that he could save the Rabbit, he dealt with the wolf and let Rabbit go on ahead and he came in after the Rabbit in 5th place, losing the top prize, with the honour going to Rat then ox, tiger and rabbit. Such a generous and helping nature.
The Dragon energy has five types, each with a different element, their characteristics & fortunes vary and each has a 60 year cycle. They are the Wood Dragon, Fire Dragon, Earth Dragon, Water Dragon and the metal Dragon also known as the Gold Dragon.
Dragons born in different years also display different personalities.
In the Chinese zodiac each of the 12 animals is associated with one of the five chinese zodiac elements: fire, earth, water, wood and metal also known as gold. These elements represent the fundamental components of everything in the Universe and how they affect all aspects.
Each year has a specific zodiac element that pairs with a zodiac animal, so the 5 elements and the 12 zodiac signs create a cycle of 60 years where everyone is affected, not only those who have dragon energy.
Chinese horoscopes therefore give predictions for the 12 animals on their prospects for health, lifestyle, luck, prosperity and life events for the year much like Western horoscope. Predictions include information about which of the animals will benefit or experience obstacles from dragon energy.
Individuals who are born in the Wood Dragon year are considered to possess the qualities of the Dragon and are usually leaders who inspire and encourage others, and are hungry for knowledge and challenges.
They possess dragon wisdom, compassion and generosity.
They can however be introverted and silent but talented with unrivalled logic and imagination. Although not great at socialising they have many true friends because of their honesty, uprightness and integrity.
Career wise they have strong work ethics and capability. Nine to five work is not for them as they have the courage and intelligence to build their own success.
In wealth they have luck even with small amounts of money in speculative business, and in stocks and lotteries they are very successful.
In love their charm attracts many pursuers, but they can be shy and reserved however making excellent family partners and create sucessful families.
The Wood Dragon of 1904, 1964 and 2024 is flexible and more co-operative than other dragons and they work easily with others to achieve common goals. They are considered visionary, optimistic and adventurous, exploring new ideas and like to challenge themselves. They are also generous and loyal friends with a great sense of humour. They enjoy collaboration with like-minded people and thrive in partnerships creating remarkable outcomes in unison.
Wood Dragon personalities are: Jack Ma, Deng Xiao Ping, Rene Lacoste, Lenny Kravitz, Russell Crow, Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Slavador Dali, Boris Johnson.
The Fire Dragon of 1916 andd 1976 are passionate, ambitious, adventurous and charismatic. They radiate energy, enthusiasm and confidence in everything they do. Famous personality Shakira born 1977.
The Earth Dragon of 1928 and 1988 are stable and reliable. Smart, ambitious, work hard to achieve their goals with diligence and discipline. Famous personality is Adele 1988.
The Metal dragon (also known as the Gold Dragon) of 1940 and 2000, are noble and refined. They impress others with their elegance and sophistication. Famous personalities: Bruce Lee and Al Pacino, John Lennon. Tom Jones
The Water Dragon of 1952 and 2012 are flexible and intuitive adapting to different situations with versatility, resourcefulness and creativity. They persevere, are farsighted and vigorous however in relationships they can display signs of selfishness and be persistent on small issues.
Career wise Dragons in general excell at all tasks including arts, politics and academics. They are tireless in knowing all about their field and easily reach the top of their game. They are high level thinkers and innovators but as they are above all dreamers they need to work from inspiration.
Therefore the year of the dragon is expecting to see some visionary leaders, innovators and problem solvers. It is an auspicious time for initiating new projects, exploring and creating new opportunities and setting ambitious goals for the future which is in unison and in the same trajectory as that of the Aquarian energy we are currently forging through and bringing in as a collective. The Dragon energy fits right in and is also a loud herald for the new world.
Those born in this year are considered to possess the qualities of the dragon and are usually born leaders who inspire and encourage others. They are visionary leaders, innovators and creative problem solvers who love the limelight, they possess dragon wisdom and generosity.
In Chinese culture Dragon is characterised by vibrant energy strength and power, revered for their vigour.
The dragon, loong, in chinese, is historically a benevolent and mystical creature that was once worshipped by the common folk to bring rain and good harvests. Thus it is regarded as a symbol of protection and fortune. Despite its fearsome appearance, it was not usually seen as the bad monster of other cultures around the world where it’s typically slain by a hero. In China it was and is till seen as a just and benevolent creature. It is for this reason they became associated with rulership and the emperors of china.
We’ve all seen Dragon often depicted in the arts flying through the clouds and having the power to be either visible or invisible, appearing in the skies, the seas, in rivers and in misty rain.
The chinese character loong is inscribed on Oracle bones dating back to the Shang dynasty (ca. 1600 – ca.1027) BC
From the Han dynasty onward, the dragon was adopted as a symbol for the Emperor and became a potent emblem of imperial power.
The five clawed dragon image was reserved for the upper ranks of the imperial court and in the Qing Dynasty (1661-1911)
The dragon became the imperial crest embroidered on the national flag. Common people were prohibited from using the dragon motif, though gradually over time it re-entered into common society.
Dragon, considered one of the luckiest and most powerful of the zodiac animals and depicted in the most precious materials from gold to jade jewellery and figurines, and in countless references in literature and the arts, it was everywhere in ancient China and still looms larger today in the Chinese psyche as ever.
The appearance of dragons was seen as an auspicious omen of good fortune and always in positive light, and often made an appearance at the birth of an important person or during a strong dynasty.
The dragon is said to have shown itself just prior to the birth of Confuscius in 1551B.C.
Chinese new year celebrations are marked by the excitement of the dragon and lion dances and would not be the same without them.
The dragon dance, loong wu, is traditionally performed during the lantern festival which marks the end of the new year period. It’s origins can be dated back to the Han dynasty 206 BC – 220AD and it came about from the ceremony of the worship of ancestors and praying for rain during droughts.
The belief is that chinese dragons have control of water, rain, hurricanes and floods and that they bring fortune and dispel evil. Gradually though, over time the dragon dance developed into an entertainment activity and by the Tang dynasty 618- 907 and the Song Dynasty 960- 1279, the dragon dance had become a common ceremonial activity in festivals like Chinese New Year.
The other popular performance during new year is the lion dance, Shi Wu, which not only brings luck and fortune for the coming new year but also creates a festive atmosphere.
The lion dance originated during the 3 kingdoms 220-265 and it’s popularity continued into the Northern and Southern dynasties 420 – 589.
A further word on dragon dances that is intersting is that there are apparently 2 types and styles of dances, the Southern and Northern dragon dances.
The southern originated from areas south of the Yangtze River and the Northern was developed north of the Yangtze river.
The southen style emphasises strength and grand appearance so it does not have agile movements. Ten people are needed to carry it and is usually made of bamboo and paper and the skin is made of cloth with scales drawn on it.
The Northern dragons’ head and body are smaller than the Southern dragon and are made of paper and plant fibers which make them lighter to carry.
Northern dances are performed in a dark environment so they are usually made with fluorescent materials. This dragon emphasises flexibility in its movements more similar to lion dances, whereas Southern Dragon dances display more strength and grandeur.
The next time you are at a dragon festival see if you can identify which type of dragon it is, Northern or Southern.
There are many dragon dance competitions frequently held in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
May the Wood Dragon of 2024 bring you health, wealth, abundance and happiness.
“GONG XI FA CA”
Angeli Li is a Reiki Master/Teacher & Integrated Healer with a Chinese Malaysian Husband. |
You can connect with her via her email address firstname.lastname@example.org