The Chinese calendar is based on a lunar year and the starting date varies each year.
According to ChineseNewYear.net "The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, has more than 4,000 years of history and is the longest holiday of the year. In the 21st century, the national holiday begins on the first of the Lunar Calendar and lasts until the 15th of the first month. In 2024, Chinese New Year begins on February 10th and ends February 24th with the Lantern Festival.
In China, all stores are closed during the first five days of the Spring Festival, with some not opening until the very end. People must stock up on New Year supplies (年货 / nian huo) beforehand and many begin on the Laba Festival. Kitchens will also show the first signs of Spring Festival dishes with the preparation of cured meat, salted fish and other preserved food."
Royal Museums Greenwich states "Unlike most other calendars, the Chinese calendar does not count years in an infinite sequence.
Instead years have names that are repeated every 60 years, corresponding to five repeats of the Chinese zodiac cycle of 12 animals.
The sequence of animals in the Chinese zodiac is:
hare or rabbit
This system for naming years has been in use for about the last 2000 years, but is traditionally extrapolated back to 2637 BCE when the calendar was supposed to have been invented.
The current 60-year cycle started on 2 February 1984. However a counting system is also now in use which has year one as the first year of the Yellow Emperor in 2698 BCE."
In an email to her students Mimi Kuo Deemer says "There will never be a dull moment in 2024 as the powerful, visionary Wood Dragon soars in on Saturday, February 10 – the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year. For myself, I'm ready for the transformational energy promised by these mythological creatures. Unlike most evil and lecherous Western dragons (exception goes to the Red Welsh dragon!), Chinese dragons are benevolent and good. If all goes well, the lucky dragon will bring about some welcome changes in our personal and collective worlds.
The triphibious dragon is highly adaptable and innovative. These expert problem-solvers never turn down a challenge and regularly take up risks to help achieve a better future for all. In Chinese culture, they are famous for compassion, warding off evil, protecting the innocent, and bringing safety to all (read below for a fun legend about the dragon's role in creating China's rivers). They also breathe clouds rather than water, representing soft, cooperative power. We need this in this world now, don’t we?
With the energy of Wood behind it, this year's dragon has the potential to be regenerative, like the energy of blossoming flowers and expansive growth in spring. When welcomed, a dragon year can usher in courage, confidence, integrity, and benevolent leadership. But dragons are not always welcome, and this can reveal their downsides. Like strong spring winds, mishandled Wood energy can howl and rage, blowing the dragon into an out-of-control brat.
Indeed, when overtly challenged or thwarted in their efforts, dragons can become like an emotional, highly critical, and temperamental teenager. They can also become prideful, aloof, and unwilling to admit mistakes. If they take on too many must-save-the-day roles, they can also become impatient, self-centered, ambivalent, or meek. They can lose courage and throw in the towel prematurely, losing the wherewithal to act.
So, what is the best way to align with a Wood Dragon year? Here are 5 ways:
Establish steadfastness in the face of transformation and change.
Moderate your energy and efforts; too much exercise or activity can deplete the Water energy in your kidneys.
Summon your dragon-like benevolence and compassion when irritation and anger arise.
Embrace shake-ups by remaining creative, resourceful, adaptable, and resilient.
Be willing to admit your mistakes.
Lastly, remember to look to Wood's ability to stay rooted and strong. The deep roots of trees enable them to remain steady through the gale storms of life.
Wishing you all a Happy Dragon Year! Gongxi facai! 恭喜发财"