Chinese New Year: Year of the Dragon

Monday, February 5th, 2024

This Saturday, we welcome in the Year of the Dragon – a particularly special year in our Chinese New Year calendar. Now begins a time of strength, luck, health and success.

The Chinese zodiac is a 12-year cycle that links each year to an animal sign. The 12 animal signs are Rat (shu 鼠), Ox (niu 牛), Tiger (hu 虎), Rabbit (tu 兔), Dragon (long 龍), Snake (she 蛇), Horse (ma 馬), Sheep (yang 羊), Monkey (hou 猴), Rooster (ji 雞), Dog (gou 狗) and Pig (zhu 豬). The order of the animal signs is fixed, with the Dragon being the fifth in the cycle, hence the Year of the Dragon (longnian 龍年) in 2024. Last year, 2023, was the Year of the Rabbit (tunian 兔年) and 2025 is the Year of the Snake (shennian 蛇年).

Each year also corresponds to one of the five basic elements (wuxing 五行) in Chinese cosmology, namely Metal (jin 金), Wood (mu 木), Water (shui 水), Fire (huo 火) or Earth (tu 土), creating a 60-year cycle. The universe is believed to be composed of the five elements that interact with each other in a cyclical way. These five elements are the fundamental building blocks of everything around us. The 60-year cycle is a combination of the 12 animal signs and the five elements. The understanding and application of the five elements is an essential aspect of Chinese astrology, cosmology, medicine, philosophy, and feng shui in particular.

The Chinese lunisolar calendar determines the specific animal and element associated with a particular year. The Year of the Dragon in 2024 is associated with the element of Wood. The combination of the animal sign (Dragon) and the element (Wood) designates the year as the Year of the Wood Dragon.

The Lunar New Year will begin on 10 February in 2024. This marks the start of the Year of the Wood Dragon.

Become a Foundation Member

Sign up to receive exclusive offers, along with previews of our collaborations and event inviations.