Saturday, 22 December 2012

A Dragon's Christmas Wish


Santa's little Dragon helpers join him in wishing you all a very Merry Christmas in the Year of the Dragon.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Vietnamese Dragons

Vietnamese Dragons




Vietnamese Dragons 

According to legend, the king of the dragon-kind Lac Long Quan, the fifth generation grandson of Shennong, lived in a settlement near the Dong Sea.  He fell in love with the Goddess Au Co who was the beautiful daughter of the bird-kind king de Lai and soon after married her in an elaborate ceremony.  As a result of the blissful union Au Co bore 100 eggs which hatched into 100 fine sons. Naturally the first-born son Lac Viet became the heir to the throne. Upon his succession he formed the first dynasty of Vietnam, and proclaimed himself Emperor Hung Vuong. The succession passed to Huang Vuong, Hung Vuong, and so on, lasting for 18 generations.
This is the source (foundation) of the well known Vietnamese proverb: “Con Rong, Chau Tien” which means, “Children of Dragon, Grandchildren of Gods.”


                                                                                             
Historically the Vietnamese people have always established the settlements near rivers. They venerated crocodiles as “Giao Long”, the first kind of Vietnamese dragon; furthermore the representation of the Vietnamese dragon merges the very likenesses of the crocodile, lizard, snake and the bird. Some archeological objects have been found depicting crocodile-dragons with the head of a crocodile and the body of a snake.

 (vietnamese_dragon _hai_ by_stevegoad curtesy of Facebook.com/artsofstevegoad)

The Dragon first appears as a decorative motif in Vietnamese prehistory. The cat-dragon on a glazed terracotta piece excavated in Bac Nnh shares some features of the Dai Viet period Dragon such has the whiskers and fur that are found on the Dai Viet dragon image. It does not have a crocodile head however; its head is shorter. It has a long neck and the wings and dorsal fin are represented as long lines.
In Co Lao, represented on the brick from the Ngo Dynasty (938-965), the dragon is short with a cat-like body and a fish’s back-fin.
Buddhism was the most prevalent religion during the Ly Dynasty (1010-1225) which laid the foundation of Vietnamese feudal culture and founded the first feudal university: Van Mieu.
Dragon in architecture of the Ly Dynasty, 11th-13th centuries.
 The slim flowing dragon of this period represents the King and is the dragon of literature. They had perfectly rounded bodies lithely curved into a long sinuous shape tapering gradually to the tail. The body had 12 segments, signifying the 12 months of the year. The head, held high, is in proportion with the body and has a long mane, beard, prominent eyes, a crest pointing forward on nose, but no horns. The jaw is opened wide, with a long, thin tongue. The dragon always keeps a ‘chau’ (jewel or gem) in their mouth, as a symbol of humanity, knowledge and nobility. On the Dragon’s back are small, continuous, standard fins. The legs are small and thin, and usually 3-toed. Similarly these dragons are believed to be able to change the weather and are responsible for the welfare of crops.


Dragon on timber doors of the Tran Dynasty, 13th-14th centuries
In the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400) the Dragon looked more intrepid, though it shared some similarities to the Dragon of the Ly Dynasty. Here the Tran Dragon is armed with horns and has arms. Its fiery crest is shorter.  It’s slightly curved body is stout and taperes towards the tail. The Tail comes in various forms: pointed, straight, or spiral.  The scales also enjoy a variety of forms: being regular, slightly curved, or half-flower shapes.
Dragon head of the Ly-Tran Dynasties, 11th-14th centuries
At this period in history, because the Tran kings were descended from a Mandarin commander and the nation was engaged in warfare with Mongol invaders, the Tran Dragons became symbols of the martial arts.

In the Le Dynasty, the Vietnamese dragon’s image was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon because of the Confucianism’s expansion policy. The Dragon’s image once again underwent change and the dragon’s body now only curved in two sections.
The feet have five sharp claws and instead of fiery crest they now had a large nose. Still, looking more regal with a lion-head, the Dragon adopted a curved posture and was represented amidst clouds.

Dragon on a censer of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945)
During the early phase of Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1883), the dragon was represented with a spiral tail and a long, fiery sword-fin. He was personified by a mother with her offspring or a pair of dragons. This Dragon’s head and eyes are large; they have a lion’s nose, exposed canine teeth, stag horns, regular flash scales and curved whiskers.  The Dragons now have certain hierarchy; the image of the Dragon King is represented with five claws whereas the images of lesser dragons have only four claws.
Finally, in the period 1883-1945, the Dragon’s image deteriorated and became crude, losing its majestic shape. It’s representation in art became an indicative sign of the decline of the last Vietnamese dynasty.
Typically some proverbs and sayings incorporating word Dragons have different implications:



"Rồng gặp mây": "Dragon meets clouds" – In favourable condition.
"Đầu rồng đuôi tôm": "Dragon's head, shrimp's tail" – Good at first and bad in the end; something which starts well but ends badly.
"Rồng bay, phượng múa": "Dragon flight, phoenix dance" – Used to praise the calligraphy of someone who writes Chinese ideograms well.
"Rồng đến nhà tôm": "Dragon visits shrimp's house" – A saying used by a host about his guest: the host portrays himself as a humble shrimp and his guest as a noble dragon.
"Ăn như rồng cuốn, nói như rồng leo, làm như mèo mửa": "Eating as dragon scrolls, talking as dragon climbs, working as cat vomits" – A criticism of someone who eats too much and talks a lot, but is lazy.
The End

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Dragon Talismans

Dragon Talismans


A talisman or an emblem of Dragons, being very much a part of human history, has been traditionally incorporated in coats of arms or other heraldic items by leaders, kings or conquerors.  This is because, as a symbol, Dragons have always been considered the embodiment of great, imposing and terrifying might.

In most Western Civilizations, Britain being one, the Dragon symbol was at one time used as an ensign of war and was regarded also as being symbolic of victory.

Over the years this talisman of might and conquest has evolved to have a more peaceful significance.  Although still considered chiefly an emblem of authority, Dragon talismans are now considered by many to be a fortunate charm, bringing forth longevity, peace and felicity.  Exquisite miniature dragons therefore are carved in wood, stone, jade or metal for sale to be worn or treasured for their auspicious influences. 











The End






Saturday, 25 August 2012

Urban Dragons

Dragons in Urban Settings

Dragons are usually thought of as existing in the dark past or in fantasy worlds totally separate from our everyday lives. Have we ever thought about what life would be like if Dragons walked among us? Right here, right now.


Oh, It's You Again

Imagine if, for some reason, a baby dragon had imprinted on you after hatching. So cute when it's young, but when it gets older it may get to be a bother. A full-grown Dragon is not really something you can take into the country and drop off.





High Noon for Dragons

Not all Dragons will be easily domesticated. They are, after all, wild  creatures whose intelligence ranges from the level of Chimpanzees to that of Dolphins; some species even approach Human intelligence levels.
Still, there will be territorial problems among them, and the last place you would want to find yourself is between two Dragons vying for a piece of turf.




The Lurker

Those who try to raise Dragons as pets will find any number of merchants ready to sell them unhatched eggs and there will be that proportion who takes shortcuts in breeding their Dragons, going for the purer species, the fashionable traits and ignoring the genetics of the animal. They will be operating secret breeding facilities away from the public eye.
This will still pose its own set of dangers. Sometimes Mother Dragon may object when her eggs are stolen and stored away before their time, and woe to those who rouse her anger.




Background Noise

Not all Urban animals live lives of quiet domesticity. The alleyways are ripe with feral cats, stray dogs and even some of the more exotic species that some people like to keep as pets. If Dragons lived among us as just another one of the many species on Earth then the alleyways of our cities would have a new apex species. The human predators who deal in the backstreets will have to keep a sharp ear out for any sudden changes in the background noise when they are on their cellphones.




Sunday, 8 July 2012

Taming the Mighty Dragon

Many cultures viewed the Dragon as a benevolent being, especially in the East where they held the belief that mighty Dragons once ruled the rivers, lakes, seas and skies. Dragons were well respected and even worshiped, especially in the agrarian settlements, for the welfare of men depended on the kindness of these supreme entities. The quantity of folklore that was spanned from their rich imagination has delighted generations of children.



In ancient times it was the province of the immortals to intercede on behalf of humanity with the raw power of nature symbolized by the Water Dragon.

Once upon a time in ancient India the people of a small kingdom, being incited by a demon, went on a rampage against the Buddhists and their monasteries. In the mayhem of destruction, some even stooped to steal the Buddhist sutras.

The Dragon King of the undersea, outraged by the unruly behavior of these humans, punished them all, the innocent as well as the guilty, by flooding their entire kingdom. As he deemed them most unworthy of benefiting from the wisdom within the holy writings, he took custody of the sutras and stored them in his palace.

In time the repentant people, having suffered so long, wanted the sutras back but nothing would sway the Dragon King’s resolve.  It took an extraordinary being, Nantimitolo, to subdue the dragon guard and restore the sutras back to earth. Hence he became a Buddhist immortal: the Dragon Taming Lohan.









In modern times we are still entertained by accounts of Dragons in various visual and literary forms but we have also learned to harness falling water, the most powerful of the dwelling places of Dragons, to benefit mankind in yet another way: for what would man do today without the use of electricity?

These pictures tell the story of one such mighty waterfall, its might and how it has been tamed by mere mortals:













The End.


Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Dragon Boat Festival

The History of the Dragon Boat Festival 


In Canada we are a multicultural community and, as a result, we are richer by far in our human experiences. One such experience is the Dragon Boat Festival. I became aware of this some years back and, though I am not of Chinese origin, it has held my interest just the same. The festival may have started in China countless years ago but it is now an annual event celebrated throughout the world with participation from well over 40 countries. 

In Toronto, from the humble beginnings of the first Festival in 1989 with only 27 teams participating until the 24th Annual Dragon Boat Festival, the event has grown tremendously. This year there are teams from all over Canada, from the U.S, the Caribbean Islands, Europe and Asia. It will be held June 23-24, 2012 at Toronto Centre Island. They are anticipating about 180 to 200 teams, including 11 teams of individuals with physical and developmental challenges, to compete with over 5000 athletes. The festival has an added advantage of raising funds for charitable organizations, this year the beneficiary will be the Canadian Diabetes Association.





For those history buffs, here’s an additional succinct account of the Dragon Boat Festival in Canada:



“As early as 1945, the Vancouver Sun newspaper contains a story and picture of a dragon-adorned silver plaque presented to the Mayor of Vancouver by representatives of the republican government of China immediately following cessation of hostilities of World War II in the Pacific. The news story explains that because Vancouver was the North American gateway to Asia, it could be considered as the ideal city to host the first dragon boat race outside of Asia. The proposed post war dragon boat festival was compared to the Mardi Gras of New Orleans. Since 1946 was to be the Diamond Jubilee (60th Anniversary) of the city, it was suggested that a dragon boat festival be convened to mark this occasion. However, this would have to wait until the city's 100th anniversary in 1986 and the world transportation exposition. 
In 1992, the (final) British Governor of Hong Kong, Christopher Patton, presented a teak dragon boat to the Canadian Prime Minister of the day, Brian Mulroney, to mark the close cultural, social and business ties between Hong Kong and Canada. This craft is now part of the permanent collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. Canada reciprocated by presenting a carved cedar totem pole crafted by British Columbia First Nations members. This symbol of friendship is displayed in a park in Hong Kong.” 
Several of the larger dragon boat events outside of Asia include Vancouver’s Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival in Toronto, Ontario, and the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival in Ottawa, Ontario. These three Canadian festivals each feature some 200 crew and are all held on a weekend close to the June Summer Solstice, in keeping with traditional Chinese dragon boat traditions.” 

In case you are unfamiliar of the origin of this 2000 year old event, here’s a brief summary: 

The pre-imperial Warring States period (475-221 BC) is considered a classical age in Chinese history, during which Confucius, Lao Tse and Sun Tzu lived and the classic military strategy “The Art of War” was written.  In this period, in the southern state of Chu (present day Hunan and Hubei provinces), there lived a most notable statesman Qu Yuan (Chu Yuan).  
The great poet Ch’u Yuan became a minister for King Huai of Ch’u as a young man. He was saddened by how the people had suffered from ceaseless war
He is still considered a champion of political loyalty and integrity, as he tirelessly tried to maintain the Chu state's autonomy and hegemony.
The alliance posed an effective deterrent to Ch’in’s ambition. It also earned Minister Ch’u more prestige giving him the right to oversee a wide spectrum of domestic and diplomatic affairs.


Because he was a most upstanding individual he became victim to the malicious slanders of other corrupt ministers and jealous bureaucrats’ who had the ear of the Emperor and had him banished.


 A group of Ch’u aristocrats led by Prince Tzu-lan became jealous of Ch’u. They often complained to King Huai of Ch’u's alleged arrogance and waywardness. Hearing more and more complaints,the king became less satisfied with his minister  


 While in exile however, he continued to write some of the greatest literature and poems, expressing his ardent loyalty and love for his state and divulging his deep concern for its precarious future. 


The poem was read by people in the Ch’u court, and was used by Tzu-lan and Chin Shang against Ch’u. They told King Huai that in the poem he was compared with a despotic ruler. The king was enraged and dismissed Ch’u Yuan from his official post


Then one day, in the year 278 B.C. upon learning of the imminent invasion by a neighbouring State (Qin), he did his best to warn his Emperor and countryman.


Chang explained that, among the six states, Ch’i and Ch’u were the strongest. Once discord was sown between these two, the anti-Ch’in alliance would fall apart. He offered to make a trip to see if he could take the advantage of Ch’u's internal confilict to undermine the alliance.
He still believed the king would see the truth, but he was no longer summoned. He was so depressed that he couldn’t sleep at night. 
Ch’u Yuan despaired. He rushed back to Yingtu to help reorganize the resistance against Ch’in.
The alliance with Ch’i failed soon after, and beginning with the 27th year of King Huai’s reign, Ch’u was repeatedly invaded by Ch’in.
Ch’u was upset. 


Having failed in his communication however, as a form of protest against the corruption of the era, he strode into the Miluo River holding a rock, committing a ritual suicide.


He walked along the river, cursing the enemy and the greed of politicians. He was determined to arouse his people’s patriotism and condemn those who had destroyed Ch’u State by taking his own life.
He took off his clothes, tied a rock to his waist, and plunged into the river. That day was the fifth day of the Chinese lunar calendar
This was his last resort to awaken Chu to the impending danger.

The ordinary folks upon learning of Qu’s heroic act, rushed out on the water in their fishing boats to try desperately to find him in time to save him. In desperate attempt, they beat the drums and splashed the water with their paddles to keep the evil spirits and fish away from claiming the poet’s submerged body. They sprinkled rice dumplings in to the river to feed the fish to deter them from gorging on Qu’s flesh. Then late one night the spirit of the poet appeared before his closest friends and told them that the rice offering was being intercepted by an enormous river dragon. He asked that they wrap their rice into three-cornered silk packages to ward off the dragon. These “zongzi” or sticky rice wrapped in leaves (instead of silk) has been the official commemorative food ever since. 


Believing that the patriotic poet would enjoy eternal life, they would row dragon boats out on the river to look for him. Ch’u Yuan became a symbol of patriotism for the Chinese people.
Indeed, from that time on at the anniversary of Qu Yuan’s death, the fifth day of the fifth month in the lunar calendar, the ordinary citizens in commemoration of his memory have enacted this folk ritual, by means of Dragon Boat Races. The modern times this has evolved into an international sport event held in Hong Kong since 1976. The boats used today are traditionally made of teak wood. These very long, narrow, canoe-style vessels are usually adorned with carved ornamental heads and tails of dragons. The decorative regalia is absent during training but the drum is always present. Dragons are represented here because of the belief that they are the rulers of rivers and seas and dominate the clouds and rains of heaven. 

Another interesting Fact about the name: Dragon boat races were traditionally held as part of the annual Duanwu Festival or Duen Ng observance in China. Duen Ng falls on the fifth day of the fifth month, also referred to as “double fifth”. It’s determined to be so because of the combination of solar and lunar cycles which are different from Gregorian calendar, where it is placed during the month of June. During 19th century European observers of the racing ritual, not understanding the significance of Duen Ng, referred to the spectacle as a “dragon boat festival”. This is the term that has become known in the West.

(Note: The Emperor Qin Shi Huang of Qin (or Chin) kingdom did eventually conquer all of the other states including Chu and unified them into the first Chinese empire.)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Dragon People


Dragon People


What do all these people have in common?
See at the bottom for a list of names

Hint: This year, 2012, is also a year of Dragon.

Still guessing?

Answer: They are all born in the year of Dragon. Those born in the Dragon year, besides being fortunate (the Chinese name “lung” is a sign of luck), are also honoured and well respected.


Here is some character traits associated with the Dragon Personalities:


Dragons are free spirited persons always being free and uninhibited, for conformation is a Dragon’s curse. Restrictions snuffs out the ample creative spark that is always ready to flare.  Dragons feel that all rules and regulations pertain to others and not to them. 
The Dragon beings are beautiful creatures; their natural instinct is to be colourful and flamboyant. An extroverted bundle of energy, gifted and utterly, utterly irrepressible, in fact, everything Dragons do is on a grand scale: big ideas, ornate gestures, and extreme ambitions. Because they are confident and fearless in nature, they will always overcome any challenge and are inevitably successful in rising to the very pinnacle of any profession.

A note of caution: Dragon people need to be aware of their ambitious nature however, for too much enthusiasm can leave them fatigued and unfulfilled. Though they are always ready to give any assistance whenever the need arises they are also proud and loathe accepting any form of aid from others.

The Dragon's originality is the most impressive and outstanding of all his characteristics. The Dragon is quite imaginative and always able to see new paths where others may run into brick walls. Dragons are very adaptable and are fit for various occupations, especially those occupations that allow them to bathe in the limelight. Dragons work hard, but would rather give orders than receive them. Therefore to be content, they should avoid jobs that encompass too much routine, and opt instead for the positions in which their self-reliance can be an asset. Some of the occupations best suited for the Dragon are Computer analysts, Inventors, Engineers, Architects, Lawyers, Philosophers, Psychoanalysts, Brokers, Managers, PR People, Advertising agents, Sales people, Officers in the military, Campaigners for Charities or Politicians. In any of these occupations the Dragons will often take a radical approach

Not the most domesticated of the Animal signs, Dragons may be more content out and about rather than stuck at home. Nevertheless, blessed with imagination and artistic sense, they may enjoy decorating their home or anywhere else where their extravagance can be expressed and duly appreciated. A Dragon's home is usually large and majestic in accordance with his personality, providing ample space for that fiery temperament or sudden emotional eruptions that are typical of their character.  Keep in mind also that Dragons are egotistical and love to be the center of attention; modesty is not one of their assets. Add to that the Dragon temper and you have a commanding, domineering and authoritative chief. They do hate unsolicited advice and can be hopelessly tactless and insensitive to their lovers and spouses. It takes someone who is easygoing yet has a thick skin to be the Dragon's partner because, despite their sentimental characters, Dragons can be moody and insensitive. All the same, Dragons are loved so much because they are generous, charismatic, irresistible, and so brave that standing beside them banishes fear. They generate excitement and turn heads anywhere they go. They are free-spirited and impulsive and can help others achieve their dreams. Others love to be around Dragons because they have a way of making people feel better.

True enough, the Dragon’s generous personality gives them the ability to attract friends easily, but they are rather solitary people at heart. A Dragon’s self-sufficiency means that he or she has no need for close bonds with other people. Dragons are quick to fall in love, but do not surrender their independence easily leaving most of them to live life by themselves. Yet, a smart, witty, and funny companion may intrigue the Dragon long enough to make him want to get married and, once the Dragon becomes committed, they will be fiercely loyal and most unlikely to ever leave.

Many people will want to run when the Dragon's temper is provoked. Chinese horoscopes are very specific about which partnerships have the potential to be successful in love and in business. Yet, though destiny can point us in the right direction, we must still make all efforts to maintain loving relationships.



Dragons and Other Animals:


Dragons are compatible with, and are best friends with, Rats and Monkeys. There is an easy bonding with the Snake and few problems; not much understanding with the Ox and Sheep and Rabbit. Tigers present a challenge but also many thrills. When it comes to the Horse and Pig there are complications with their different attitudes and dragons have some difficulty in getting along with them. Dogs meanwhile are considered a mortal Enemy for Dragon folk.

In a scenario where Dragon marries another Dragon, they need to learn to share the spotlight; once this is accomplished, they will live in absolute bliss. Furthermore nothing is beyond their reach.

A Dragon and Snake union: A clever, crafty and quick-witted relationship as they fit together like pieces of a puzzle.
Dragon marrying a Horse: In this case you share a powerful sexual chemistry.
Dragon marrying Rabbit or Sheep: Despite the sexual attraction, eventually you'll find too many differences to overcome.
Dragon marrying Monkey: You share similar opinions and goals that destine you for happiness.
Dragon marrying Dog: A truly tumultuous affair-not recommended for peace of mind.
Dragon marrying Pig: A caring and deeply affectionate relationship.
Dragon marrying Rooster: You make a beautiful couple, but your egotism blinds you.
 
Because people born in the year of the Dragon are so bent on furthering their careers, they usually put off having and raising children until late. Parenting doesn't come very naturally or easily to the Dragon. However, when Dragons do become parents, they approach it with the same enthusiasm as their other endeavors. They are proud parents and tend to boast about the accomplishments and good looks of their children. Dragons, noted for their benevolence, tend to shower their children with toys and spending money. It has been remarked that they substitute material things for quality time with their children. Even so, Dragons take parenting seriously and are quite protective of their children's welfare. Should anything upset them, or should anyone wrong them, the Dragon will prepare to fight and avenge the people who have hurt or belittled their offspring.

Like their adult counterparts, children born in the Year of the Dragon have vivid personalities and are independent from birth. Noisy and active, parents should stimulate their imaginations as soon as possible. Their imagination and inquisitive natures can be troublesome for the Dragon child and can often land them in a heap of trouble at school which can cause teachers and other parents to deem them troublemakers or naughty.
Sometimes Dragon children are loners who daydream and drift to into their own world of make-believe. They are creative and are able to entertain themselves for hours on end. They don’t mind playing by themselves, often inventing games and puzzles while doing so. All the same, Dragon children are responsible children who love to take on and complete as many tasks as possible for it gives them a sense of accomplishment. They do however demand careful attention and special handling in order to bring out the best in them. Their creativity and talents must be encouraged, even if it means spending extra time in certain school subjects in order to help them master the subject.

As we mentioned earlier, Dragons are usually popular people, but because of their personalities, they seem to gather as much criticism as they do esteem. Due to their tumultuous temperaments, Dragons are not the most sensitive friends to those in need of a shoulder to cry on; however, those who truly know the Dragon know he is a loving soul who will become your best ally in times of need. Once the dynamic Dragon has given his friendship, he will not let his friends down and will never falter in his allegiance to his companions. To a Dragon, a friend is a friend for a lifetime. Incredibly honest, Dragons are known for sincerity and are trusting souls. Because of this honesty Dragons don't realize others may not demonstrate or uphold the same codes of ethics. Making the discovery that they placed their trust in someone who is dishonest makes the Dragon person quite sad, yet much more perceptive for future encounters.

Dragons are attracted by the bizarre. No self-respecting Dragon desires to walk in a tourist's footsteps. Instead, they take a lot of gratification in finding hidden destinations, or, closer to home, locations off the beaten track. But Dragons also need thrills, which they might find by taking an unplanned winter break to go skiing or a spontaneous rock climbing trip in the spring. They may even test their bravery by daring to ride the highest roller coaster in the world. Dragons are also sentimental at heart, so conquering their childhood haunts, or taking a second honeymoon would bring immense pleasure too.

Dragons also like to spend money and are most charitable. They do not know the meaning of the word "accumulate," and making money does not intrigue them as it may others. Many Dragons will take big chances with their finances, sometimes betting on their shirt and losing it right off of their backs. Yet, they were born with the Midas touch, and it very rare that a Dragon remains poor for long. Dragons will always be straightforward in financial dealings and can always be trusted. 

Other characteristics are as follows: Innovative, Enterprising, Flexible, Brave, Passionate, Conceited, Tactless, Scrutinizing, Unanticipated and Quick-tempered.
Dragons take thrilling risks and burn the candle at both ends so they are fortunate to be blessed with good health. Among the heartiest of the Animal signs, they can suffer bad health as a result of stress. Symptoms of their personalities often stem from emotional outbursts and can range from tension headaches to depression to hypertension. Dragons can remedy these problems by maintaining their cool, implementing a routine in their daily lives, and utilizing exercises such as yoga or tai kwon do that soothe the mind and spirit as well as tone the body.


Some of the likes and dislikes of the Dragon personality:


Color Preference: Greenish-Blue
Gems and Stones: Opal, Sapphire, Amber
Suitable Gifts: Tarot cards, camera, a copy of the I-Ching, mirror, a family crest, a mobile phone
Hobbies and Pastimes: Computer programming, public speaking, fossil hunting, astrology
Dragons Dislike: Taking orders, unnecessary bureaucracy, discounted ideas, people who don't give 100%



Now here are the people in the photo, have fun matching their names:

Maya Angelou, Joan Armatrading, Joan Baez, Sandra Bullock, Bing Crosby, Salvador Dali, Charles Darwin, Chiristian Dior, Placido Domingo, Fats Domino, Sigmund Freud, Che Guevara, Joan of Arc, Immanuel Kant, Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale, Edgar Allan Poe, Vladimir Putin, Keanu Reeves, Isabella Rossellini, George Bernard Shaw, Alicia Silverstone, Ringo Starr, Shirley Temple, Andy Warhol, Raquel Welch, and Mae West



Other notable Dragon Year people are:
Jeffrey Archer, Joan Armatrading, Count Basie, Roseanne Barr, Maeve Binchy, Juliette Binoche, Alexandra Burke, Michael Cera, Courteney Cox, Russell Crowe, Roald Dahl, Neil Diamond, Bo Diddley, Matt Dillon, Kirk Douglas, Faye Dunaway, Colin Farrel, Dan Fogler, Bruce Forsyth, Calista Flockhart, Graham Greene, James Herriot, Paul Hogan, Boris Johnson, Sir Tom Jones, Wyonna Judd, Courtney Love, Elle Macpherson, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Nick Nolte, Julia Ormond, Sharon Osbourne, Al Pacino, Gregory Peck, Pele, Nikki Reed, Ryan Reynolds, Sir Cliff Richard, Martin Sheen, Dinah Shore, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Dave Stewart, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Maria von Trapp, Louis Walsh, Mark Webber, and Reese Witherspoon. Just to name a few.


To find out what years belong to which of the Chinese Animal Signs (and to you) see our blog: The Year of the Dragon Brings Ups and Downs for the full list.