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8 Surprising facts about the Dragon Zodiac

8 Surprising facts about the Dragon Zodiac

Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year as it’s known in other parts of the world) is just a mere few days away! As one of the most anticipated public holidays in Singapore, it’s almost impossible to step out of the house without seeing and hearing signs of the festival’s coming.

It’s the Year of the Dragon in 2024, which has always been a little more special in the zodiac calendar compared to other years. We’ve prepared exactly eight factoids (no more, no less) about this occasion for your enjoyment, so let’s jump right in!

#1: The Dragon in Chinese culture

The dragon is a mythical creature that permeates a large part of Chinese mythology and folklore. Known to be intelligent and powerful beings able to control the elements, dragons are believed to bear good fortune and protection from evil spirits. In ancient times, they also shared a connection with the emperors of China, as they signify power, wisdom, and the divine right to rule. That’s why dragon iconography was so commonly associated with the throne in those days.

#2: Dragons in festivals and traditions

Chinese New Year isn’t the only festival where dragons appear - they also show up in other festivals in decorations and imagery, with the Dragon Boat Festival being the most prominent one (which features literal dragon boats racing across water - a fantastic view for anyone!) But since dragons are perceived as auspicious symbols, you can’t go wrong with including them in any celebration.

#3: The Dragon in the zodiac race

The procession of animals present in the Chinese zodiac is widely known to be ordered based on a myth about the zodiac race. The story goes that one day, the Jade Emperor decided to hold a race to select the most worthy animals to be part of his personal guard; the quicker they were, the higher ranking they would be.

As powerful as the dragon was however, it surprisingly finished fifth - behind the Rat, Ox, Tiger, and Rabbit. When asked why however, the Dragon revealed that it had stopped to save a village by making rain before resuming the race. Dragon might not have ended up in the top three in the zodiac race, but with such selflessness and honour, it’s no surprise why the Dragon remains popular with people!

#4: Common perceptions about the Year of the Dragon

Years of the Dragon are particularly seen as auspicious years for starting new ventures, making significant life changes, and for births. Although it’s mostly based on superstition, it’s not unusual for people wishing to switch up their current life trajectory to do so during these years. After all, every little bit of well wishing helps, doesn’t it? This might be a good time for you to start thinking about making a change in your life, too.

#5: Increased birth rates during Years of the Dragon

In Dragon years, it’s not unusual for places with significant Chinese populations to experience noticeable spikes in birth rates. Because the Dragon is so popularly seen as an auspicious sign in Chinese culture, many would-be parents do make an effort to have children born under this zodiac sign, as they believe that it may bestow qualities like luck, strength, and success upon their kids.

This phenomenon is so widespread that the governments in several countries do take active measures to ease the strain on infrastructure and national resources specially because of the number of people born on Dragon years. For example, enrollment in Singapore primary schools become unusually competitive when Dragon children begin Primary 1!

#6: Significant Dragon years in history

Like any other year, history happens all the same. But it can be interesting to take a look back and see what actually transpired during some Years of the Dragon. Some highlights are:

  • 1952: The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II happened that year, marking the start of Britain’s longest reigning monarch.
  • 1964: Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent efforts to combat racial inequality that year. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was also signed into law, outlawing discrimination based on race, colour, religion, sex, or national origin.
  • 1976: Apple Inc, the tech company that brought the world the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and more besides, was founded that year by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne.

#7: Commonly perceived traits in Dragon year individuals

Just like the mythical creature, individuals born in Dragon years are believed to be blessed with confidence, intelligence, and enthusiasm. They are also thought to be resilient and adept at leadership.

Is it true? Who knows! But that hasn’t stopped many parents from wanting to have Dragon babies just so they have an extra chance of embodying these ideals. And if you’re a firm believer in astrology and horoscopes, you’ll find the next section very interesting…

#8: Famous Dragon babies in history

These renowned personalities and celebrities have one thing in common: they’re all born in the Year of the Dragon. Do they actually possess the traits that Dragon babies are purported to have? We’ll let you decide for yourself:


  • Che Guevara: Argentine Marxist revolutionary and major figure in the Cuban Revolution.


  • Bruce Lee: Hong Kong-American martial artist, actor, director, martial arts instructor, and philosopher, widely considered to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time.
  • John Lennon: English singer, songwriter, and peace activist, co-founder of the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music.


  • Vladimir Putin: Russian politician and former intelligence officer serving as President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 2000 to 2008.


  • Michelle Obama: American attorney and author who was the First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017, married to the 44th president, Barack Obama.

In summary

And that’s 8 facts about the Year of the Dragon - we hope some of them were as interesting and surprising as we found them to be!

If you’re celebrating Chinese New Year soon, ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ and best wishes to you and your family. And if you’re just taking a well-deserved break during the public holidays, we hope you enjoy every minute of it!

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