Year of the Dragon
The Chinese calendar follows a twelve year cycle, with each year being assigned an animal. The Dragon, the only mythological beast on the calendar, is placed fifth on this cycle. As such, the Dragon follows the Rabbit while recurring every twelfth year. Since the year 2012 is a Dragon year, so are the years 2000 and 2024, and so on. The dragon is a familiar symbol in many cultures, both Eastern, as well as Western. However, unlike Western philosophies, that fear the dragon, traditional Chinese culture sees the dragon, not as a vicious beast, but the bringer of good fortune. The dragon is also thought to be a symbol representing the master over all authority. Along with being regarded as divine, the dragon is highly desired. Those born on Dragon years are thought to command more respect and honor as opposed to others.
Characteristics Attributed to Those Born on Dragon Years
Those born on Dragon years are believed to be susceptible to a myriad of characteristics; several of these traits are contradictory to one another. People born on Dragon years are thought to be flexible, yet scrutinizing, innovative, yet tactless. Other traits include, bravery, self-assuredness, being passionate, enterprising, and possessing a quick temper. As in Western culture, the Chinese zodiac tends to attribute many tendencies to each symbol. This certain level of vagueness allows for more people to personally identify with their particular birth symbol. There are so many characteristics attributed to those born on Dragon years, there arose a need to divide them up into the five Chinese elements, water, metal, wood, fire, and earth. These elements are believed to temper and balance the mythological dragon.
The Five Elements
Understanding the role of the five Chinese elements is essential in knowing which of the Dragon’s attributes are attached to certain people born on Dragon years. These elements overlay a five year cycle atop the Dragon cycle of twelve years. The Water Dragon, like the other four elements, occurs every sixty years. Therefore, with 2012 being a Water Dragon year, one can see that the previous Water Dragon year was 1952, while the next one will occur in 2072. It is thought that water calms and tempers the otherwise fearless dragon. This is supposedly the reason why those born on Water Dragon years are more receptive of others. Those born on Metal Dragon years (1940 and 2000) are felt to be extreme, courageous, and stubborn. Wood Dragons (1904 and 1964) are labeled as suspicious, questioning, and liberal. Those born as Fire Dragons (1916 and 1976) are the most feared, as they are considered volatile, with a penchant for acting irrationally. Those fortunate enough to be born on Earth Dragon years (eg.1928, 1988) are thought to the most rational, levelheaded, and organized.
Notable People Born on Dragon Years
Due to the five elements accounting for most traits found in any person, there is no necessary connection between those born on Dragon years. They range from Joan of Arc (born 6 January 1412, military leader), to Salvador Dali (born 11 May 1904, artist). Notable Chinese people born on Dragon years include Deng Xiaoping (born 22 August 1904, politician), and Li Feigan (born 25 November 1904, writer).
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