Getting Mystical with Dragons, The Year of the Wood Dragon

By IndyKids Staff

The Year of the Wood Dragon

On Feb. 10, 2024, the Lunar Year of the Wood Dragon is ushered in. The dragon is the only mythical being in the Chinese zodiac within a group of 12 symbolic creatures and has been a prominent figure during the Chinese New Year. As seen during celebrations of the New Year, the dragon can be seen on various kites, signs, flags and life-sized puppets. Among the 12 creatures are the boar, sheep, oxen, monkey and snake, and each year the zodiac rotates along with one of the five elements that speak to the relationship and interdependence of all things. 

The symbolic representation of each Chinese Lunar Year also comes along with its specific characteristics, and this year is meant to bring growth, prosperity, abundance and good luck. Along with this, the Year of the Dragon is said to be the most popular for babies born into the world. Some attributes for children born in the Year of the Dragon include courage, power and ambition. But more than its symbolism, the dragon also has deep roots in Chinese history and is known to play a key role in the Chinese creation story. 

As the myth goes, the dragon assisted the creator of everything, Pangu, in the making of civilization. However, the history of the dragon in Chinese culture does not stop there. Their prominence is also due to the association of dragons with bringing rain to grow crops, as well as the transportation of the human soul into heaven. As we ring in this new year, it is important to note that the dragon is not just a symbol, but also has had a huge influence on different aspects of Chinese culture. 

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