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Year of the Black Water Dragon

New coins represent the year of the Black Water Dragon. Photo by Flickr user sirqitous.


Monday, Jan. 23, was the day of celebration for the Chinese New Year of 2012. In China, the New Year is also known as the “Spring Festival” or the “Lunar New Year”.  This holiday signifies the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is traditional for every family to thoroughly clean the house to get rid of any bad luck and make room for receiving good luck.

One of the most widely known elements of the Chinese New Year is the rotating Chinese zodiac symbols that represent each year. The Chinese New Year’s zodiac changes each year, rotating into one of twelve different zodiac symbols, represented by animals. These zodiac representations include, in order of rotation, the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar. Each zodiac animal is also associated with a zodiac element. So one year may be the year of the Fire Tiger, but in the next twelve years, when the Tiger zodiac comes around again, it will be the year of the Earth Tiger. There are five elements in all, which include, in order of rotation, Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. Each element also has a color associated with it. The element Metal is associated with White, Water with Black, Wood with Green, Fire with Red, and Earth with Brown. However, you might hear the term “Golden” during the Metal years, and this is because in Chinese, “Metal” and “Golden” are written exactly the same. It takes sixty years for a full rotation of the zodiacs. This year, we enter the year of the Black Water Dragon.

It is also believed that people born on a certain Chinese zodiac year act and think a certain way. While not all of the personality traits that the zodiacs predict are accurate with all people born on that certain year, many seem to be surprised by how accurate some of the descriptions can be.     For example, when I asked Liz ‘17, who is an Earth Rabbit, about what her sign means to her, she replied: “Nothing. It has zero impact on how I live my everyday life. I used to really hate it because I didn’t really like rabbits. But now I feel indifferent about it.”

People born on a year of the Dragon, in general, are free, unconfined, successful and powerful. Personality traits specific to Water Dragons are mainly that they are more patient and observant than other Dragons, meaning that they take a step-back to review their work or what they are about to do. So if you know anyone who is pregnant, her baby will likely have these traits some day!