Chinese New Year of the Wood Dragon 2024: all you need to know to impress your friends, colleagues and family. China Rising Radio Sinoland 240215





Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff








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Here is Part 2 about Chinese New Year and Dragons,

This Year of the Dragon, spice up your correspondence and social media with 21 downloadable images and 5 sayings I received from Chinese friends and colleagues! China Rising Radio Sinoland 240217


For further reading, here is my full explanation of Chinese calendars, based on my 16 years of living and working there,

Chinese Lunar and Agricultural Calendars Explained-A China Rising Radio Sinoland Cultural Special Edition

It all began with the Jade Emperor who decreed that the years of the calendar would be named for animals. He declared a race across a great river and the first 12 winners would grace the calendar, to see what order the cycle would be in. There is a really cute fable how they arrived in this order (

Rat      鼠 (shǔ)           1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032

Ox       牛 (niú)           1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033

Tiger   虎 (hǔ)            1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034

Rabbit 兔 (tù)             1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023, 2035

Dragon龙 (lóng)        1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036

Snake  蛇 (shé)           1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025, 2037

Horse  马 (mǎ)           1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038

Sheep  羊 (yáng)         1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039

Monkey 猴 (hóu)        1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040

Rooster 鸡 (jī)             1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, 2041

Dog     狗 (gǒu)           1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042

Pig       猪 (zhū)           1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031, 2043

There are a many divine/mythical Chinese creatures, the most important being the Dragon, the Unicorn, the Phoenix, the Turtle and the Hou 犼 (hǒu), which I wrote about in 44 Days Backpacking in China (

The dragon is the only mythical zodiac creature, with a camel’s head, a snake’s neck and tail, a belly like an eel, a dog’s muzzle, with deer’s horns, lobster’s or ghost’s eyes, ears like a cow, scales like a fish, with long cat whiskers, eagle’s claws on tiger’s paws and a sporting a lion’s mane. Unlike the West, it has no wings.

Classic of the Dragons,


is an ancient Chinese book of myths about dragons. In these stories, dragons shapeshift, go invisible, grow immense or shrink to small sizes, ride the clouds and fly through water. They come in different colors. White Dragon saliva turns to gold. Purple Dragon spit turns to transparent jade. The Yellow Dragon represents the emperor and protects him, which is why they were frequently featured on imperial robes. If an emperor was not serving the people, that means they’d lost the Heavenly Mandate. In that case, the Yellow Dragon could stop the rains, as a pretext for the citizens to storm the palace with bamboo sticks and demand a new leader. There is even an ancient phrase fort exactly that (jieganerqi = 揭竿而起). That’s Chinese democracy going back 5,000 years: Not serving us? You’re outta here, Sino-Jerk!

Chinese dragons have recently been rebranded Loong, to distinguish the two, East and West, which are not at all the same. Loong are divine and help keep the universe running smoothly. The ones on Earth live in and control the planet’s waters: lakes, rivers, seas and oceans. They bring rain and control floods. The ones in heaven guard the ancient writings and Buddhist scriptures.

Western dragons are fiery, violent, more like killer bats that terrorize humanity. In the Bible’s Book of Revelation, a seven-headed dragon represents the Devil, which Michael and angels kill. Also, St. George slayed the village devil dragon and all the inhabitants converted to Christianity. In popular culture, look no further than the English epics Beowulf and Lord of the Rings. Thus, Western dragons are the devil to be slayed.

For the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China opted for the panda bear and not the dragon to be the Game’s mascot, because they realized that the international perceptions of the latter were decidedly negative. Loong is from the Chinese character for dragon, 龙, which is pronounced long. They’ve added an extra “o”, Loong, to avoid confusion.

The Chinese calendar has Five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.

12 animals x 5 elements = 60-year zodiac cycle. Then, there is the I-Ching 180-year cycle (3 times 60 years) that influences fengshui (

February 10, 2024 marks the beginning of the Year of the Wood Dragon, the New Moon. It will end on 24 February with the Lantern Festival and the first Full Moon of the new year, an activity that my family and I have had the pleasure of participating in over many moons!

Chinese love to have Dragon babies. Twelve years ago, there were 600,000 excess births during the last Year of the Dragon. Given its divine, helpful role in Chinese folklore, it’s no wonder

In Chinese astrology, what does ‘wood’ symbolize? Will 2024 bring us,

  • Energy, aggression and chaos?
  • Stability, serenity and the status quo?
  • Growth, progress and abundance?

The last Wood Dragon was 60 years ago, 1964, when French President Charles de Gaulle made his country the first major Western power to be mutually recognized with China ( and

Famous Dragon personalities past and present include late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, martial arts legend Bruce Lee, Russian President Vladimir Putin, HK tycoon Li Ka-shing and Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group (

Most Chinese soothsayers are predicting that Trump will win the election in November. However, will the Democrats steal the election again, like they did in 2020 ( And I’m a registered Democrat!




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JEFF J. BROWN, Editor, China Rising, and Senior Editor & China Correspondent, Dispatch from Beijing, The Greanville Post

Jeff J. Brown is a geopolitical analyst, journalist, lecturer and the author of The China Trilogy. It consists of 44 Days Backpacking in China – The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass (2013); Punto Press released China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations (2016); and BIG Red Book on China (2020). As well, he published a textbook, Doctor WriteRead’s Treasure Trove to Great English (2015). Jeff is a Senior Editor & China Correspondent for The Greanville Post, where he keeps a column, Dispatch from Beijing and is a Global Opinion Leader at 21st Century. He also writes a column for The Saker, called the Moscow-Beijing Express. Jeff writes, interviews and podcasts on his own program, China Rising Radio Sinoland, which is also available on YouTubeStitcher Radio, iTunes, Ivoox and RUvid. Guests have included Ramsey Clark, James Bradley, Moti Nissani, Godfree Roberts, Hiroyuki Hamada, The Saker and many others. [/su_spoiler]

Jeff can be reached at China Rising, je**@br***********.com, Facebook, Twitter, Wechat (+86-19806711824/Mr_Professor_Brown, and Line/Signal/Telegram/Whatsapp: +33-612458821.

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