What is the Year of the Dragon?
The Lunar new year is nearly upon us and we enter the new phase on 10th February 2024. Informally known as the ‘Chinese New Year,’ the Lunar new year is celebrated across several countries, including China, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Brunei amongst others.
In Chinese culture, each year is associated with an animal sign, and the Year of the Dragon is considered one of the most powerful and auspicious. Occurring once every 12 years, it’s known for its strength, vitality and good fortune. The dragon symbolises success, prosperity and positive transformation.
As we eagerly await the arrival of the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac, we look back to the last occurrence, in 2012, and the positive impact it brought, particularly in the UK.
The Year of the Dragon 2012
Riding high on a wave of positivity and optimism, in 2012 the UK hosted two remarkable sporting events and experienced some amazing achievements. London 2012, the summer Olympics and subsequent Paralympics, captivated the world and showcased the UK’s ability to organise and execute two hugely successful global sporting celebrations.
Not only did the UK host an amazing Olympic and Paralympic Games, but London 2012 was Britain’s most successful games since 1908, surpassing the target of 48 medals, ending with a total of 65.
Other sporting highs of the last Year of the Dragon in 2012 included Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France, the first British cyclist to do so. Andy Murray won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open, the first British male to win a Grand Slam in 76 years. Both sportsmen were subsequently awarded knighthoods to recognise their career achievements.
2012 was also the year of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, celebrating 60 years of her reign. People across the UK came together to celebrate the queen’s years of service.
As we enter the Year of the Dragon in 2024, we can look forward to a similar wave of positivity and transformation. The dragon’s energy is said to bring about favourable conditions for innovation, bold endeavours and breakthroughs. It’s a time when hard work can lead to great success and when opportunities for personal and collective growth are more widespread.
Chinese New Year is also called the Spring Festival.
What better way to start off your Dragon year than with our Spring Workshop. This workshop combines goal setting with a dynamic yoga practice. Book here.
What are the Personality Traits of Dragons?
For those born in the Year of the Dragon, there’s a belief that certain personality traits are associated with this powerful sign. Dragons are known for their charisma, intelligence and enthusiasm. They’re natural leaders with a fearless and ambitious spirit. While their confidence can sometimes be mistaken for arrogance, dragons are generally warm-hearted and passionate about their beliefs.
How does the Year of the Dragon Influence Yoga?
As we embrace the energy of the Year of the Dragon, it’s fascinating to explore how the characteristics associated with this powerful sign can influence our yoga practice. The dragon symbolises strength, vitality and transformation and these positive attributes can be seamlessly integrated into the practice of yoga.
- Strength and Power in Asanas: The dragon is known for its strength and this quality can inspire yogis to focus on building physical strength in their practice. Incorporating challenging asanas that require strength and stability can be a powerful way to align with the dragon’s energy.
- Vitality and Flow: Dragons are associated with vitality and energy flow. Yoga practitioners often seek to cultivate life force energy. Incorporating breath-centric practices can help enhance vitality and encourage a sense of flow, both on and off the mat. The dragon’s dynamic and vibrant energy aligns well with the rhythmic and flowing nature of these practices.
- Transformation and Renewal: The dragon’s symbolism of transformation is particularly relevant in yoga, a practice that encourages personal growth and self-discovery. This is a time to embrace change, both in our practice and in our lives.
- Courage and Fearlessness: Dragons are known for their courage and fearlessness. In yoga, this can translate into a willingness to explore challenging poses, confront personal limitations and step outside of our comfort zone.
How is the Year of the Dragon Celebrated?
The Lunar new year celebrations start on 10th February 2024 and last two weeks, culminating in the Lantern Festival on Saturday 24th February 2024.
The colour red holds great significance in the Chinese zodiac and particularly during the celebration of the Year of the Dragon. It symbolises good fortune, joy and prosperity and is also believed to ward off evil spirits and bring positive energy. It’s deeply embedded in Chinese cultural traditions, reflecting the hopeful spirit and positive energy that the dragon year is believed to bring.
Red lanterns and decorations adorn streets and homes and traditional red envelopes containing money are exchanged as symbols of good luck. People dress in red to welcome the energies associated with the dragon, light fireworks and watch traditional dragon dances while coming together to usher in a period of good fortune and prosperity.
What Should I do to Celebrate the Year of the Dragon?
During the Year of the Dragon celebrations, from Saturday 10th to Saturday 24th February 2024, we’d love to see our classes filled with lots of vibrant red clothing, the colour that’s so closely associated with the Year of the Dragon. Let’s fill our studio with positivity and vitality and usher in the new Lunar new year!
As we journey through the Year of the Dragon, we’ll infuse our yoga practice with the strength, vitality and transformative energy this powerful and fearless sign represents. Aligning our practice with the dragon’s positive attributes, we’ll create a powerful connection between mind, body and spirit, embracing the transformative journey that yoga and the Year of the Dragon offers.