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The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

Welcoming the Year of the Dragons

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This mythical creature symbolizes wealth and nobility.

When people are asked to think of creature representations of China, the first that often comes to mind are dragons (in Simplified Chinese, 龙 or Traditional Chinese, 龍). This mystical and powerful creature has held an irreplaceable place in Chinese culture. It is easy to capture signs of the dragons in Chinese infrastructure, costumes, art, and everywhere else.

Saturday marks the official start of Lunar New Year: the Year of the Dragons. Just by the sound of it, the Year of the Dragons is incredibly mighty. Dragons, as a legendary super-creature, exist in many cultures. Despite some cultures regarding dragons as evil animals and dragon-slayers as respected heroes, dragons in China have historically been a symbol of authority, wealth, power and luck.

In the past, dragons have been widely used as exclusive representations of Chinese emperors and is known by the public as a holy animal. 

Dragons have a long history in China. According to Chinese folklore, dragons are made out of nine different animal elements and have nine special abilities, such as thunder, electricity, rain and wind. It is often described as having large wings and a spirit that has strong powers and wit. In traditional Chinese culture, dragons receive much respect as they are regarded as the protector God. 

Legend has it that Emperor Yan, one of the “First Five Emperors,” had a dragon tail and was the son of a dragon. Thus, many Chinese describe themselves as descendants of the dragon.

The dragon exists in the heart of Chinese people with qualities of kindness, beauty, mystery, auspiciousness, vigor, and nobility. The cultural connotation of the dragon includes symbolic meanings that have always been deeply rooted in the rich Chinese culture.

According to Chinese folklore, the dragon was one of the 12 animals who participated in a race to determine the order of the zodiac signs. The dragon, despite being traditionally recognized as a strong animal with power, saw that the rabbit was struggling to swim across the river. Therefore, it blew a powerful breath to help the rabbit cross onto the shore and followed after the rabbit. Thus came the zodiac order with the Year of the Rabbit before the Dragons.

The Year of the Dragons serves as a reminder for people to act generously and kindly for a blessed new year. With many prosperous wishes and meanings embedded in dragons, many believe that the upcoming Year of the Dragon will be a year with plenty of empathy and good luck.

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About the Contributor
Mary Wang, Senior Journalist
Mary is a sophomore at the School. Her interests range from creative arts to politics. She especially loves all theater-related things, debating, and sustainability. Being from China, she hopes to write about her country’s culture and current events. She is excited to continue writing about these interests in The Gator.

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