Apr 7th, 2024, 01:00 PM

Roaring into 2024: The Year of the Dragon

By Ashley Goodman
Image Credit: Ashley Goodman
A Dive into the 2024 Chinese Lunar New Year sign

This year’s Chinese Lunar New Year began on Feb. 10 and marked the start of the Year of the Dragon. The 12-year Chinese zodiac calendar cycle is represented by 12 different animals, in order they are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. People born in the Year of the Dragon are believed to inherit some of the dragon's characteristics, such as strength, ambition, confidence, and charisma.

The Dragon symbolizes power, luck, strength, and health, and is historically linked with imperial power and authority. Chinese emperors considered themselves descendants of dragons, emphasizing the dragon's esteemed position.


In Chinese culture, each year is not only associated with an animal sign but also with one of the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water). 2024's Year of the Dragon is associated with the element of wood, so anyone born between Feb. 4, 2024 and Feb. 3, 2025 will have the Wood Dragon as their animal sign. 

This year combines the heavenly stem "Jia," which represents yang wood, and the earthly branch "Chen," which represents the Dragon. "The relationship between the two elements tells us a lot about the year. In the five elements, they say wood restricts earth. That means, in 2024, industries in the wood category would likely suppress those in the earth category. Industries with a strong wood presence – including culture, publishing and floristry – will be more likely to thrive than earth industries such as property development and mining," according to Thierry Chow, a Hong Kong-based consultant who blends traditional Chinese geomancy with modern design elements.

Chow also tells us that the year 2024 marks the beginning of the next 20-year reign under the ninth flying star. "The number nine star represents feminine energy – so ladies are going to take over in a lot of the areas. It also represents technology, art and design as well as spirituality," she said. The nine stars could also help you decide which direction you should travel in the months to come. Chow encourages travelers to explore places in the southwest, northwest and east – it doesn’t matter if these destinations are within their city or outside their country, simply anywhere in those directions will suffice.

The Lunar New Year carries rich traditions and cultural meanings. The celebration marks the beginning of the New Year according to the lunar calendar; starting with the first new moon and lasting 15 days until the first full moon. 


During this time, families and friends gather for colorful events with traditional food to honor their deities (Gods and spiritual beings) and ancestors. Many celebrations are marked by the widely recognized lion dance and vibrant lanterns

The Year of the Dragon is not only celebrated in China; it also holds significance in numerous other Asian countries such as Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Viewed as a symbol of power, nobility, and good fortune, it unites diverse Asian communities through shared festivities and traditions.

These celebrations foster a shared heritage and identity among people with different cultural backgrounds. Despite the cultural diversity across these regions, the common thread of the Dragon creates a bond that brings people together in celebration. Originating from ancient traditions, the Year of the Dragon has recently been adapted to embrace modern influences; festivals have evolved to feature technologically-enhanced dragon dances, interactive social media campaigns, and worldwide events that link Asian communities across the globe.