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Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, will begin on February 10th, 2024, marking the start of the Year of the Dragon. As the only unrealistic animal in Chinese zodiac signs, there are many differences between Western and Eastern dragons.
Western & Eastern Dragons
Dragons are mythical creatures that are a part of many cultures. They have features of different animals, including a snake-like body, powerful claws, sharp teeth, long tails, scales, and horns or frills on their head. In Western culture, dragons are often portrayed with double wings and the ability to breathe fire, whereas Eastern dragons are typically thought to have no wings at all.
The word for dragon in German is "drache," which comes from the Latin "draco" and the Greek "drakon," both of which originally meant "snake." In Western culture, dragons are usually seen as evil creatures that cause destruction and are enemies of all things in the world. However, in some folktales, they are eventually defeated by brave heroes.
In contrast, the dragon is considered an auspicious creature in Chinese culture. The dragon was a symbol of imperial power in ancient China and is still highly respected today as a symbol of wealth, wisdom, success, power, and luck. The Chinese proudly claim to be descendants of the dragon, and Western media often uses the dragon to represent China.
Characteristics of people who are born in the Year of the Dragon
As one of the important symbols in Chinese traditional culture, the dragon represents several good personality traits. People born in the Year of the Dragon are usually said to be muscular, energetic, full of vitality, and have noble ideals. But they are also often seen as easily giving up, domineering, lacking self-control, arrogant, and unwilling to admit mistakes. (Please don’t take it seriously; it’s just a different type of Astrology!)
Celebrations for the Year of Dragon
In addition to some common traditional practices like fireworks and red envelopes, during Lunar New Year, the Dragon Dance is another traditional performance that is often seen during the Chinese New Year. Experienced dancers manipulate a long, flexible giant puppet of a dragon using poles to simulate the movements of a river spirit. The longer the dragon is in the dance, the greater the amount of luck it is believed to bring to the community!
If you aren’t currently subscribed, watch Chinese New Year Special TV shows with our Chinese Pack! The Phoenix and Fairchild channels can be added to your TV packaging for only $10/month.