[TGIF] Roar with the dragon this Chinese New Year

We’re all probably familiar with the Chinese dragon and its auspicious significance. But did you know that there are different mythological Chinese dragons? And that the dragon’s body is an amalgamation of nine different animals? Usher in the year of the dragon with the following fiery tidbits.

1. Tough dragon competition

If you were born in the dragon years: 2000, 1988 1976, 1964, 1952, or 1940, you will know some tough competition. Dragon years are the most popular years for the Chinese, who consider that those born under this zodiac sign to have the best fortune and luck traits, resulting in an influx of “dragon babies”.

 

2. “Dragon babies” are said to be…

Intelligent, determined, and giving. They are natural born leaders who people might look to for direction. They are astute and shrewd and because of that, tend to be successful in their pursuits. Their biggest motivation? Power and authority. Now, if only they would take things down a notch and appreciate the little things in life, everything would be peachy.

 

3. The Dragon: a symbol of royal power

Emperor Kangxi wearing a robe with a dragon motif on the torso.

Yep, that’s right, if you’re the mightiest sentient being in the sky, you’re the ultimate symbol for royalty. Usually yellow or gold with five claws on each foot, the dragon is a symbol of the emperor, and can be found embroidered into state clothing and carved into the facades of imperial palaces.

In the legend of the first two Chinese emperors Yandi and Huangdi, Yandi was said to have been born of a dragon and Huangdi was said to have transformed into a dragon after his death and ascended to heaven. The Chinese, who view themselves as descendants of these two emperors, call themselves the “descendants of the dragon”.

 

4. The power of the number “9”

As the largest single digit number, “9” has grand connotations and was associated with the emperor. Along the same vein, the dragon is also heavily associated with the number nine. Firstly, the symbolic Chinese dragon has exactly 117 scales (9×13), split into 36 (9×4) Yin scales and 81 (9×9) Yang scales. The dragon has nine offspring, and is an anatomical jigsaw of nine different animals: the horns of a stag, the head of a camel, the eyes of a demon, the ears of a cow, the belly of a clam, the neck of a snake, the claws of an eagle, the paws of a tiger and the scales of a carp. Now that’s a complex creature if there ever was one.

 

Now that you know more about dragons, it’s time for some dragon spotting:  don’t forget to visit the Auspicious Dragon (above left) at The Forum and the rotating Golden Dragon (above right) at The Bull Ring this festive season. See if you can spot more dragons made of flowers at Festive Walk too.

And while you’re here, why not dine like an emperor and make this Chinese New Year different by tucking into Italian fare at Palio, Australian delights at Osia, or the seafood buffet at Starz Restaurant?  Beat the competition and sample from a wide array of dining options here at RWS.

Have a happy Chinese New Year everyone!

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