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Year of the Green Dragon

Thank You to:
YANFENG ZHAO and
YANG YANG (from Yoyo Chinese the best way to learn Mandarin.)

As the calendar flips to 2024, the Chinese zodiac guides us to the Year of the Dragon.

it's the once-in-sixty-years "Year of the Green Dragon". It's important to note here that in ancient China, the term ⻘ (qīng) represented a spectrum of colors typically viewed as shades of blue or green. Although we translate it as "green" here, the actual color of ⻘⾊ (qīng sè) should be a greenish-blue color.


Given that 2024 is the rare Year of the Green Dragon, there's a popular saying in China:

qīng lóng shǒu cái kù, sì rén yì fā fù

⻘⻰守财库,四⼈易发富

The Green Dragon guards the treasure vault, making wealth easily attainable for four specific

individuals. It's said that four particular zodiac animals, when encountering the Year of the Green Dragon, are believed to experience exceptional luck in 2024. Let's find out if your zodiac is one of the lucky ones for this year! Understanding the 甲⾠(jiǎ chén) Year


To put it simply, ⼲⽀(gān zhī) is a way of tracking time used in ancient China that consisted of ten 天⼲ (tiān gān, Heavenly Stems) and twelve 地⽀ (dì zhī, Earthly Branches) .

You're probably more familiar with the 地⽀ (dì zhī) as each is associated with a specific animal in the Chinese zodiac and used in the Chinese lunar calendar as part of a twelve-year cycle. According to the Chinese lunar calendar, 2024 is the 甲⾠ (jiǎ chén) year. It comes around only once every 60 years, making it a special and infrequent event rich with age-old traditions. In the ten 天⼲ (tiān gān) , 甲 (jiǎ) comes first and corresponds to the eastern direction. The Dragon, a powerful and revered symbol in Chinese culture, was chosen for this year because it's associated with the East.


Why Is 2024 Called the Year of the Green Dragon?

Firstly, in ancient Chinese mythology the dragon is one of the four mythical creatures, alongside the white tiger, red bird, and black tortoise (the black tortoise is a spiritual being composed of a turtle and a snake).


Together, they represent the twenty-eight constellations distributed in the four cardinal directions of the sky, with each direction

containing seven constellations. The seven constellations associated with the east, represented by the dragon, form a shape very similar to a dragon when connected.


Additionally, in ancient China, people commonly used the Five Elements (Wood, Metal, Water, Fire, Earth) to associate colors with the five directions (East, West, South, North, Center). East is associated the wood element, and its corresponding color is cyan or green; this is why 2024 is called the Year of Green Dragon.


The Four Fortunate Zodiac Signs in the Year of the Green Dragon

qīng lóng shǒu cái kù, sì rén yì fā fù ⻘⻰守财库,四⼈易发富

The Green Dragon guards the treasure vault, making wealth easily attainable for four specific

individuals. But who are these favored ones? Astrology points to the zodiac signs of the Horse, Tiger, Chicken, and Rat. Each sign, with its unique traits and cosmic alignment, finds a friend in the Green Dragon, promising a year brimming with opportunities and successes.


Firstly, the tiger, as one of the twelve zodiac animals, is often paired with the dragon to symbolize bravery, majesty, strength, and independence. People born in the Year of the Tiger (...1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010…) are believed to reach new heights in wealth and career during the Year of the Dragon. Commonly used Chinese idioms like these describe the complementary relationship between the dragon and the tiger in the zodiac:


cáng lóng wò hǔ

藏⻰卧⻁

hidden dragons and crouching tigers


shēng lóng huó hǔ

⽣⻰活⻁

lively as a dragon and spirited as a tiger


xiáng lóng fú hǔ

降⻰伏⻁

subduing the dragon and taming the tiger


Thus, for those born in the Year of the Tiger, encountering the Year of the Dragon, especially the rare Green Dragon Year that occurs every 60 years, is considered a very auspicious sign.

Secondly, for those born in the Year of the Horse (...1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014…) 2024 is also seen as a particularly fortunate year. The horse represents a spirit of boldness, freedom, and vitality in Chinese culture. This idiom vividly captures the energetic state bestowed by the dragon and the horse:

lóng mǎ jīng shén ⻰⻢精神 the spiritedness of the dragon and horse


People born in the Year of the Horse are expected to encounter more opportunities and good fortune during the Green Dragon Year, with significant progress in career and wealth.


Lastly, you might wonder why the rooster and the rat, seemingly distant from the dragon, also experience good fortune during the Green Dragon Year. In traditional Chinese culture, the rooster is the most responsive to the sun among all animals and is known for heralding the dawn. Here's a well-known phrase that highlights the special connection between the rooster and the dragon, being the only mythical creature among the zodiac animals that

flies in the sky. xióng jī yī chàng tiān xià bái 雄鸡⼀唱天下⽩ the crowing of the rooster brings daylight. This connection brings good fortune to those born in the Year of the Rooster (...1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017…) when they encounter the dragon.


For those born in the Year of the Rat (...1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008…), there is a special connection to the year

2024. The Rat corresponds to the first of the Heavenly Stems: 甲 (jiǎ), and since 2024 is the 甲⾠ (jiǎ chén) year, it closely aligns with the Year of the Rat. Despite the rat's small size; its agility, flexibility, and sharp wit—symbols of intelligence and adaptability in Chinese culture—mean that during the Year of the Green Dragon, people born in the Year of the Rat are more likely to receive help and support from influential figures, leading to significant breakthroughs and advancements in their careers. Idioms That Contains the Character ⻰ (lóng)

Dragons are not just celestial creatures but are woven into the very fabric of Chinese language and culture. Here are some more commonly used 成语 (chéng yǔ, Chinese idioms) that incorporate the character ⻰ (lóng, dragon)

.

⻰⻜凤舞

画⻰点睛

⻰争⻁⽃

⻥⻰混杂

叶公好⻰

望⼦成⻰

⻋⽔⻢⻰

群⻰⽆⾸

活⻰活现

⻰⽣九⼦

Dragons in the Limelight: From Legendary Figures to Modern Icons


Dragons don't just dwell in legends, they manifest in the real world through individuals who embody the dragon's spirit in their remarkable achievements and cultural impact. Let's meet some of these iconic figures and their representative works:

李⼩⻰ (Lǐ Xiǎolóng, Bruce Lee) A name synonymous with martial arts, 李⼩⻰ (Lǐ Xiǎolóng) was not just a film star but a cultural icon who revolutionized martial arts and brought it to the global stage. His philosophy and physical prowess are immortalized in films like "Enter the Dragon" and "Fist of Fury," making him an enduring symbol of strength and

agility.


成⻰ (Chéng Lóng, Jackie Chan)

成⻰ (Chéng Lóng) is a world-renowned martial artist, actor, and filmmaker known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, and innovative stunts. His extensive filmography includes international hits like "Rush Hour" and "Police Story," showcasing his unique blend of action and humor.


古⻰ (Gǔ Lóng, Gu Long)

A literary mastermind, 古⻰ (Gǔ Lóng) was a prolific Hong Kong-born Taiwanese novelist writer of wuxia (martial arts and chivalry) novels. His works, such as "The proud twins" and "Sentimental Swordsman, Ruthless Sword" are celebrated for their intricate plots, memorable characters, and profound influence on Chinese popular culture.


尊⻰ (Zūn Lóng, John Lone)

Starred as Puyi in the Academy Award-winning film ‘The Last Emperor’. 尊⻰ (Zūn Lóng) is admired for his versatile acting skills. He has graced the screen in various roles, earning acclaim and solidifying his status as a talent worth watching.


A Dragon's Whisper across the Land: ⿊⻰江 (Hēilóngjiāng)

⿊⻰江 (Hēilóngjiāng) is a province situated at the northernmost and easternmost of the China and is the only province that bears the majestic mark of the dragon in its name. The name is literally translated as "black dragon river". It’s also worth mentioning that 哈尔滨 (hā ěr bīn, Harbin) —the provincial capital of Heilongjiang—is renowned for its 'International Ice and Snow Festival' each winter. Have you ever imagined what Elsa's ice palace from Frozen might look like in real life? Harbin is the place to be if you want to experience a real-life ice palace. The festival includes the world's biggest ice sculptures. So, don’t forget to include ⿊⻰江 (Hēilóngjiāng) in your itinerary on your next visit to China!


Conclusion: Embracing the Dragon's Embrace

The Year of the Green Dragon beckons us to ride the winds of destiny, armed with wisdom from the ancients and the fiery spirit of the dragon. For the students of language, lovers of culture, and seekers of wisdom, let 2024 be year where every scale of the dragon glistens with the promise of prosperity, every roar echoes the dreams of a thousand hearts, and every flight charts the course of a journey filled with adventure and awakening.

Welcome to the Year of the Green Dragon – may its majesty and might inspire your path to greatness!







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