Tuesday, January 24, 2012

新年快樂 - Happy Year of the Dragon

We made it to Seattle today - it was sunny and warm around noon when we arrived in Chinatown for lunch.  Though there were snow patches here and there.  When I saw this picture on wall, I remembered I needed to do a post of the Year of the Dragon. 

[The characters in the heading come from Good Characters.  You can hear it pronounced in Mandarin there too.]

 From 2012Dragon.com: 
The Dragon is in fact the major symbol of good fortune in Chinese Astrology. The Dragon constellation, for example, is accorded the honor of being the guardian of the Eastern sky. According to tradition the Dragon brings in the Four Blessings of the East: wealth, virtue, harmony and longevity.

Indeed, of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac the Dragon is the most special, as it is a mystical being rather than an earthly animal. It is sometimes called a karmic sign. In this context that means we can expect grand things this year. Bigger than life is very much a Dragon thing. There will be spectacular successes as well as crash and burn failures.

To get an idea of the magnitude of events that might occur in 2012 it is helpful to look back on the last time the Water Dragon made an appearance, the year 1952. In February Elizabeth II became Queen of the United Kingdom, beginning a reign that still continues today. The UK was responsible for another amazing feat of longevity. In November Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap opened in London, eventually setting the record for the longest, continuously running production of a play in history. It is not really cause for celebration, but in 1952 the United States introduced two of the most destructive weapons in history, the hydrogen bomb and the B-52 bomber. On a more positive note, the field of medicine saw the first successful separation of Siamese twins at Mt Sinai hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. And, to make the point that significant bad things can also happen in a Dragon year, in December a killer fog descended on London, one result being the invention of the word smog.

Throughout history parents in China have hoped to have children during Dragon years. What famous people will be born in 2012, and how will they change the world? The year 1952 claims world leaders including Vladimir Putin and Lee Hsien Loong.

And then there was drumming and a pair of dragons:

Are you a dragon?  Chinese astrology is on a 12 year cycle.  Some the most recent Dragon years:

1916 1952 1988
1928 1964 2000
1940 1976 2012
HTML Tables
 Remember these 'years' go from Jan/Feb of one year to the next

Paranormality offers these characteristics of Dragons:
People born under the year of the Dragon appear to have magical traits, they are strong and full of energy and forever on the go.  Some of their more negative traits include: eccentricity, a tendency towards being arrogant and very trying.  However they do have many fans and expect the same level of excellence from others that they expect from themselves.  They are also full of pride. Other traits include: failing to practice what they preach, over confident, a tendency to intimidate others, feel themselves to be above the law, and can be illogical, domineering and obstinate.  In many cases they fail to identify their foes.  Although energetic they are liable to become obsessive.  On the plus side they seldom hold grudges and are generally quick to forgive.  Dragons are said to be able to accomplish great things and those born in this year are also said to represent the horns of destiny. Needing a cause for which to fight, Dragons will never merely stand back and accept their fate or what life brings.

Fengshuitoday had a long post on the Year of the Dragon last October.  Here's a tiny bit:
To summarize further, the Yang Water Dragon year, with water on top and earth below, is a symbol of powerful energy and enthusiasm for progress and change. Such a powerful force of ocean water not only brings drive for social and political changes and reforms, but will also bring natural disasters such as flooding and earthquake. There will still be conflict and disharmony in international relationships and it may not be a peaceful year, but the international clashes are less violent than the last two years of metal over wood. Also there is some improvement on the environmental situation, but disease and epidemic will still prevail.

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