I hope the first half of 2023 has been kind to you.
Works begins for me on 1st July of each year on the annual Auspicious Days - The Chinese Almanac.
2024 is the Year of the Wood Dragon and it is special in at least two ways.
First, do you realize that out of the 12 zodiac signs in the Chinese calendar, the Dragon is the only imaginary and mythical sign ? That does not diminish the attachment nor the reverence accorded to the Dragon.
Second, 2024 marks the start of a twenty year cycle of the Period 9.
Interestingly, Western cultures and folklores depict the Dragon as a malevolent creature while the Chinese almost worship it almost to a divine status. This Yin Yang interpretation carries on till this day.
The fifth in the zodiac cycle, the Dragon is a Yang creature while the Phoenix is ultimately Yin. Both will appear when the balance of Yin and Yang energies are desired such as on occasions like the Chinese wedding.
The Dragon is said to possess the powers of transformations. As it desires, it can mount the clouds to rise to the heavens during the Verna; Equinox and diving into the deep waters when the Autumn Equinox arrives.
Known as the monarch of things, the Dragon is believed to live in the waters and become a benevolent spirit. As a divine symbol, it is a sign of good fortune and ultimate destiny. It is little wonder that the chinese communities around the world often associate the Dragon year itself as an auspicious time and commonly name their children with words or homophones of the word Dragon in it.
In Chinese myth, the Dragon is also seen as the rain deity and its connections to water remain strong. They are usually thought to dwell in rivers and lakes, they are protrayed as protectors of earth's treasures and the heaven. They keep watch over waterways, the clouds and controls the winds. As an imperial symbol, the Dragon is associated with the emperor himself and are represented in all forms of arts, cultures and occasions. It adorns all things royal including buildings, dress codes and all things symbolic of control and authority.
Famous personalities with this Dragon character in their names include Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Often linked to rulers and politicians, it is believed that during a time when the nation is ruled wisely, kind and virtuous, the Green Dragon manifests itself and in times of troubles and calamities, it turns into the Azure Dragon.
When both appears, it turns into the ultimate auspicious omen.