What it Means to Be Born in the Year of the Dragon

Well so it is! 2012, year of the dignified Dragon (and the end of the world?!?!), a much sought after Chinese zodiac sign that symbolizes power, strength and good luck–so badass the Emperor of China used it to symbolize his imperial power. Parents have long been planning their pregnancies around this new year so that their children can take after me, a proud Dragoness of 1988.

I always brag about being born in the year of the dragon because Chinese people always respond excitedly to it. Now that I have lived through 2 cycles oblivious to what being a dragon child actually means, I decided it was time I find out how it defines me. So, like any other credible academic, I googled “chinese zodiac dragon” and found  www.chinesezodiac.com at the top of a long list of results. Below, I seek to understand how my life has been subliminally shaped by the most superior Chinese Zodiac sign in the world (I don’t actually believe it’s superior, but it’s up there)!


Website: Occupying the 5th position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Dragon is the mightiest of the signs. Dragons symbolize such character traits as dominance and ambition. Dragons prefer to live by their own rules and if left on their own, are usually successful. They’re driven, unafraid of challenges, and willing to take risks. They’re passionate in all they do and they do things in grand fashion. Unfortunately, this passion and enthusiasm can leave Dragons feeling exhausted and interestingly, unfulfilled.

While Dragons frequently help others, rarely will they ask for help. Others are attracted to Dragons, especially their colorful personalities, but deep down, Dragons prefer to be alone. Perhaps that is because they’re most successful when working alone. Their preference to be alone can come across as arrogance or conceitedness, but these qualities aren’t applicable. Dragons have tempers that can flare fast!

Me: Okay, I consider myself “mighty” but I’m neither dominant nor that ambitious. I have dreams, but I’ll find excuses for why I’m not carrying them out. I do like to live by my own rules, but I always credited that to my being an only child. As for challenges and risks, I’ll take them if I’m feeling spontaneous, but I won’t break the law (not big ones). Passion and enthusiasm only surface for certain occasions, like my birthday or a new love interest. But, as the website profoundly indicates, I end up exhausted, unfulfilled and oh so regretful.

As my friend Jett suggested I put on my OkCupid profile (did I really just publicize this?!), I am generous and compassionate. I do tend to help others, like give up my seat on the subway and donate a dollar here or there, but nothing of “grand fashion.” I don’t disagree that I have a colorful personality, which I take to mean happy, upbeat, fun, etc, but I also have a dark side. I will lash out if you so urge me.


Website: Considering their hard-working nature, Dragons are healthy overall. They do get stressed and suffer from periodic tension/headaches, likely because they take so many risks. Dragons could benefit from incorporating mild activity into their lives. Yoga or walking would be good as these activities can work both their minds and their bodies.

Me: I had a horrible headache yesterday! Must be all the risks that I’ve been taking–quitting my full-time job (for part-time), eating sour noodles (gone bad), and buying Christmas presents at the very last minute. It is on my New Years Resolutions to exercise more. In fact, my parents and I did a good deal of walking/shopping after dinner today. I’m off to a good start!


Website: Dragons prefer leading to being led. Jobs that allow them to express their creativity are good choices. Some good careers include: inventor, manager, computer analyst, lawyer, engineer, architect, broker, and sales person.

Me: It’s true. I hate being led; that 9-6 job was awful. I prefer teaching, where I make all the rules. “Teaching” isn’t on the list of “some good careers include,” but the website can’t be right about everything. I am definitely not cut out to being a computer analyst (I can’t analyze anything that deeply), a manager (I’m too nice, people would walk all over me and I’d be left without any managing power), and certainly not a lawyer (I don’t do public speaking). I am a good sales person though.


Website: Dragons will give into love, but won’t give up their independence. Because they have quick, sometimes vengeful tempers, their partners need to be tough-skinned. Dragons enjoy others who are intriguing, and when they find the right partners, they’ll usually commit to that person for life.

Me: Oy, I give up my independence too easily. I fall into “love traps” that lead me to become vengeful if the other person does not live up to my standards. I will, however, commit to whoever it is I’m with–maybe too much so that it drives men boys away. I read on Thought Catalog that guys are attracted to flakes. I guess I’ll add “be flaky” to my list of “Resolutions.”

Dragons and the 5 elements


Metal Dragons – Years 1940 and 2000

Metal strengthens this already strong sign. Metal Dragons are more determined and they’ll fight for what they believe in. They enjoy the company of those who feel mighty enough to challenge their beliefs. They’re true leaders and usually find plenty of others willing to follow.

Water Dragons – Years 1952 and 2012

Water calms the Dragon’s fire. Water Dragons are able to see things from other points of view. They don’t have the need to always be right. Their decisions, if well-researched, are usually better since they allow other’s to become involved.

Wood Dragons – 1904 and 1964

Wood Dragons also are willing to entertain the opinions of others. Their artistic side is strong, and Wood Dragons enjoy being creative and innovative. They get along with others, but will always be the dominating force.

Fire Dragons – 1916 and 1976

A Fire Dragon’s emotions can flare instantly. Fire Dragons put themselves on pedestals, and because they react quickly and recklessly, they sometimes make wrong decisions. Fire Dragons need to slow down and keep their tempers in check as that’s when they’re best.

Earth Dragons – Years 1928 and 1988 (this is me!)

More rooted in the ground, Earth Dragons make better decisions because they act more rationally. Earth Dragons are level-headed and able to control their behaviors. They’re more supportive of others, but they prefer being admired by others.

Me: Ahh! “More rooted in the ground” — “Grounding My Roots” This website is genius! Although, I can’t say I make rational decisions because I’m not level-headed and have trouble controlling my behavior in love, life and at the dinner-table. I will support you, friend, but I also want you to admire me because I’m just that awesome.

Well, that explains it. I’ve got my red underwear on (for good luck–it’s tradition!) ready to rock n’ roll into the next 364 days.

37 Comments on “What it Means to Be Born in the Year of the Dragon”

  1. occultoantonio says:

    Happy New Year, Miss Dragon.

  2. Tamar Dachoach says:

    i’m a “Leonine Fire Rabbit”

    We’re outgoing, confident, and basically jerks according to the web. < Dragon

  3. Ohh, cool! Being a dragon is awesome. 🙂 I am a pig. My husband is a pig. My dad is a pig. My husband and I got married in the year of the pig. haha. 🙂

    • Emily He says:

      That is extremely good luck! My uncle, his wife and my cousin are all pigs, and they live a splendid life! Hope that’s true for you, too, although from reading your posts, it seems to be 🙂

  4. I am a horse. Looked it up and found out I am specifically an Earth Horse.

  5. That’s such a cool post hehehe Apparently I’m a Rabbit’s body and a Dragon’s head because I was born on the last day of the Rabbit Year and almost Dragon year… I wonder what that makes me! Hopefully both Rabbit and Dragon year will bring good 😀 Happy New Year!!

  6. SaptarshiC says:

    Hey there fellow Earth Dragon! Just stumbled across your site from artboy68’s blog.
    I think that they nailed it with the personality as far as I’m concerned.
    Now, if only I could fly and breathe fire! Mwahahaha!

  7. Clèr says:

    yahoo, i’m Earth Dragon.

  8. b r says:

    No wonder this year has been turning out so well for me 🙂 I was also born in 88.

    Great informative post. It’s always nice to see things outside the box of typical western culture I was born in.


  9. Currie Rose says:

    I’m a rooster. Not exactly sure what that means….. but I’m gonna look it up now.

    Great post! Happy New Year!

  10. […] paternal family in Chongqing to celebrate 春節 (Chūnjié), Spring  Festival/Chinese New Year  (Year of the Dragon!). This was my first Spring Festival, a 15-day celebration (1/15-2/6), in the motherland. In the […]

  11. I’m a Dragon! And I must say the website is pretty spot on! The Chinese are reaally onto something!

  12. mmmm wood tiger — there must be a mistake! i feel more like an earth tiger, which means i am either 14 or 74 (and not born in 74!). i often feel like an old soul… or a kid at heart. either way, beware of the roar!!!!!!

    • Emily He says:

      Well some folks did say the earth shifted, thereby changing the year of the animal in which you were originally born into. For example, my dad was born in the year of the horse, but after the earth shifted slightly, he’s not the tail of the snake! Maybe you’re not a tiger at all! Maybe you’re an ox! Strong and fearless (I don’t actually know what it means…)!

  13. Justin says:

    I’m an Earth Dragon of 88 and yeah most of the Dragon description fits me well, as for the Earth Element most of it. Happy New Year Fellow Dragon

    • Emily He says:

      Thanks, Justin, my dragonmate! What a wise astrologist that is… Whoever writes for that site.. Belated happy new year to you!! And thanks for stopping be 🙂

      • Justin says:

        Sorry for the very late reply and your welcome. Also if u want to know the Chinese Astrology has something called bazi or four pillars here’s a link if u don’t mind http://www.taostaralchemy.com/ziping/

        by that I’m a Earth Dragon for year, and Metal Dragon for both day and time.

  14. Metal Dragon born here says:

    Yah! I’m a Metal Dragon! My family kept telling I’m a GOlden Dragon…it happens every 1000 years. Does Golden Dragon even exist? The Metal Dragon personality is same as mine!

    • Justin says:

      That Golden Dragon thing, eh I really don’t know about it for 1000 every years. If that’s true then Bruce Lee would just be a metal dragon or white dragon. Each elemental dragon happens every 60 years, I think they just say years with 2000 or 3000 are golden due to 3 zero not sure.

  15. I AM A DRAGON says:

    I am an earth dragon, most of the characteristics match mine but for a earth dragon i am very short tempered..i am not stable at all. I easily get worked up even against my superiors/boss too. Any one in the same boat?

    • Justin says:

      Yes, I can’t help it at all. People tell me to calm down or put a lid on things or stop doing this or that. Well I can’t.

  16. zyian parks says:

    Hay my name is zyian and I am 14teen years old now and my birthday is comeing up very soon it’s in October 23/2000 and in Chinese I am a dragon and I won’t to come to china to find out is it true or not what the dragon seimbly meaing in Chinese and I live in America so some help me or show me how to do it

    • Emily He says:

      Hi Zyian, sorry it took me SO long to reply to your message. While living in China, it was difficult to access wordpress due to censorship. Anyhow, Happy belated birthday! I think it would be wonderful for you to experience China and explore the meaning of dragons. In order to visit China as an American, you will need to apply for a tourist visa. See here: http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/hrsq/ I recommend you save up some money first, or google possible travel grants. Or perhaps you could ask your school if there are exchange programs available, and if there are possibilities to apply for scholarships. I hope this information is useful to you and I wish you the best of luck! Let me know if you have any questions or would like tips on traveling in China. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!

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