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2000 – Year of the Dragon

According to the Chinese zodiac, the year 2000 (beginning on February 5th according to the lunar calendar) will have characteristics much like the Dragon described on our home page. The Year of the Dragon is a time of exhilaration, ambition, power, and daring. Events seem as if they move with increased intensity, thus the indomitable spirit of the Dragon, full of energy and vitality, may cause some people to be overly optimistic, since things will appear better than they are.

Drama characterizes the Dragon Year, both in lavish events and in unpredictability. The rule is to expect the unexpected. The performing arts, fashion, and cultural events do well, the more original, the better. As the Dragon brings good fortune, this is an auspicious year in which to get married and also to have a baby, since Dragon children bring luck to the household.

Starting a business or initiating a major project in this year will also have a good chance for success, partially because money is obtained more easily, whether it be earned or borrowed. Extravagant spending, magnificent projects and outlandish schemes abound. Financially, optimism sweeps us along on a wave of elation; risks are taken, fortunes are made and lost. We will think and act big, throwing caution to the wind by taking incredible risks.

The Year of the Dragon brings fortunes as well as disasters. On a global level, this translates to extreme earth changes, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tidal waves. The year is marked at its beginning and end by significant international developments. Tempers will flare and many will revolt against real and imaginary constrictions. The electric atmosphere created by the Dragon will affect us all.

The advice for the year is to temper your enthusiasm and use caution before making decisions. Remember that the Dragon may shower his blessings indiscriminately on all, but he will vanish when the time comes for making retributions for our errors.

Examples of past dragon year happenings include the invention of the thermos bottle, electron microscope, mechanical heart, and the first genetically altered mouse. Other firsts include scheduled television service and the civil rights movement.

The Dragon

In the West, the dragon is a horrific beast symbolizing the worst moral qualities of humanity. In medieval legends, brave knights fought dragons, the foes of virtue. The dragon was often seen as the devil himself, as in this quotation from Revelations 12:7, "And there was a war in heaven:   Michael and his angels fought against the dragon."

In Asian cultures, the qualities of the dragon are the opposite of medieval interpretations. Instead, the dragon symbolizes royalty, prosperity, wisdom, and benevolence. Dragons have magnanimous and spiritual qualities and are said to be the protectors of temples and monasteries. Dragons also are magical in their abilities to transform into any creature.

White Dragon (Metal Dragon)

The year 2000 is the year of the Metal Dragon. (The New Year cycle is of twelve animals and the five elements, therefore a complete cycle is 60 years.) This is also known as the White Dragon. When metal expresses masculine yang energy, it is symbolized by a weapon, the personal symbol of anyone born in this year.

Metal qualities are righteousness, independence, strong will, intensity, uprightness, determination, and the ability to focus. These qualities greatly empower the White Dragon. Known for excessive strength, daring, and courage, the White Dragon is one of the most powerful signs of the Chinese zodiac.

Martial arts master Bruce Lee is the quintessential example of the White Dragon.

New Years History and Legends

The Chinese Lunar New Year is the longest chronological record in history, dating from 2600 B.C., when the Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the zodiac. Like the Western calendar, the Chinese lunar calendar is a yearly one, with the start of the lunar year being based on the cycles of the moon. Therefore, because of this cyclical dating, the beginning of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. (This year the New Year is February 5th.) A complete cycle takes 60 years and is made up of five cycles of 12 years each.

The Chinese New Year was originally known as the Spring Festival. Today, many fascinating legends are associated with the origins of the Chinese New Year. Hope you enjoy the following two legends.

Buddha and the Twelve Animals

Chinese legend states that thousands of years ago, Buddha summoned all the animals in the kingdom. Only twelve animals answered his call. As a reward, Buddha endowed each animal with a year of its own in the order of arrival. From then on, each year of the Chinese calendar bore the characteristics of the animal of that name.

Using the Chinese zodiac, judge for yourself if the following characteristics describe yourself or your friends. First, find your animal by the date of your birth with the chart below. (If you were born from mid-January to mid-February, you will need to find out the date of the Chinese New Year for the year in which you were born as this changes each year in the lunar calendar. See the end of this article for suggested sources.

If your year is not listed below, keep adding or subtracting twelve to the year of your birth until you match one of the years listed.

Rat 1960 1972 1984 1996   Horse 1966 1978 1990  
Ox 1961 1973 1985 1997   Sheep 1967 1979 1991  
Tiger 1962 1974 1986 1998   Monkey 1968 1980 1992  
Rabbit 1963 1975 1987 1999   Rooster 1969 1981 1993  
Dragon 1964 1976 1988 2000   Dog 1970 1982 1994  
Snake 1965 1977 1989     Pig 1971 1983 1995  

Please note that if you were born in January or February, you may have fallen into the previous lunar year listed. To discover your animal sign, go to http://www.webhaven.com/chen/lunar.htm, enter your birthrate, select Pinyin for output, and click Convert. Your animal sign will appear under ShengXiao.

Your Animal Sign

The Chinese believe the animal ruling the year in which a person is born has a profound influence on personality, saying:   "This is the animal that hides in your heart."

On the next page, check what you and your friends can expect for each sign's characteristics, recommended career, compatibility and predictions for the Year of the Dragon.

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