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2012 Year of The Dragon

Updated on August 8, 2013

Welcome to 2012 Year of the Dragon!

This light-hearted lens is devoted to the dragon, (a Yang wood animal, and the only mythical creature in the Chinese zodiac).

In China, dragons are associated with strenth, vitality, harmony and good luck which is why they are placed above doors or on rooftops to banish the demons and evil spirits. In many Asian cultures, dragons represent the primal forces of nature, religion and the universe while many embody supernatural powers and great wisdom.

In Western culture, dragons are often portrayed as fire-breathing lizard-like creatures, or serpentine monsters with bat-like wings capable of devouring their pray in a single bite. These cunning creatures far from being protectors of mankind are seen as mortal enemies synonymous with the devil or Satan himself.

We leave you to be the judge of what role dragons play in your life -- especially in "2012 The Year of the Dragon" (January 23, 2012 - February 9, 2013)!


Image Credit:


For those who love a little bit of tantalizing trivia:

Chinese dragons have five toes

Korean dragons have four toes

Japanese dragons have three toes

The Bad News: It is said that the farther dragons travel from their home in China, the more toes they are likely to lose.

The Good News: When these perambulating dragons return home, all their missing toes grow back. Since most dragons prefer to keep all their toes, all the time, few dragons ever stray very far from home.


Image Credit:

Commemorating the Year of the Dragon - The Stamp of Success and the Beginning of the New Millennium!

On January 23, 2012, we transition from the Chinese Year of the Rabbit into the propersous and fertile Year of the Dragon.


2000 Year of the Dragon Stamp (China); 5 February 2000 - 23 January 2001: Fire Dragon

2012 YEAR OF THE WATER DRAGON - 23 January 2012 - 9 February 2013


Image Credit: Chinese water dragon. Illustration by Katrina M. Montgomery - - katrina99

Unlike the negative energies associated with Western Dragons, most Eastern Dragons are beautiful, friendly, and wise. They are the angels of the Orient that bring abundance, prosperity, and good fortune.

Instead of being feared or despised, they are loved and worshipped. Temples and shrines have been built to honor them, for they represent Mother Nature and the forces that control the rain, rivers, lakes, and seas.

There are nine major types of Chinese dragons. These include the horned dragon, the winged dragon, the celestial dragon (which supports and protects the homes of the gods), the spiritual dragon (which generates wind and rain for the benefit of mankind), the dragon of hidden treasures (which guards wealth), the coiling dragon (which lives in water), and the yellow dragon (which once emerged from water and presented the legendary Emperor Fu Shi with the elements of writing). The last of the nine is the dragon king, which actually consists of four separate dragons, (each of which rules over one of the four seas of the east, south, west, and north).

Water calms the Dragon's fire. Water Dragons are less opinionated than others, capable of see things from other points of view and often tend to be overly optimistic (i.e. they're not the first to cry over spilt milk nor are they keen on declaring that the sky is falling...surely there must be a solution...why not build an ark?)


Safari Ltd Sea Dragon
Safari Ltd Sea Dragon

A marvelous memento for seafarers, the Sea Dragon also adores celebrations -- so bring him along to your next beach party or picnic by the water.

Water Dragon Collectible Figurine
Water Dragon Collectible Figurine

Water dragons know how to live in the mystery of the deep, but they must learn to balance the water tendency with their innate talent for excessiveness.

Blue Water Dragon on Rock Fantasy Figure Decoration
Blue Water Dragon on Rock Fantasy Figure Decoration

Blue Water Dragons know the difference between a rock and a hard place, but dislike having to be calm and patient, waiting for anything or anyone, or sitting around twiddling their tails!

Safari Ltd Blue Chinese Dragon
Safari Ltd Blue Chinese Dragon

The Blue Chinese Dragon knows how to cope with choppy waters, is more diplomatic than other dragons and is very creative.

asian dragon bronze statue home fountain sculpture LG
asian dragon bronze statue home fountain sculpture LG

The perfect addition to any pondering pool, the water dragon is known to be a pacifist and with an interest in solving social problems.



Dragons symbolize a potent and benevolent power, the ultimate ruler of all the elements (of earth, air, fire, and water), and a primordial power that acts as a catalyst for change and transformation, wisdom, infinity, and longevity, as well as the movement through space and time.


Image Credit: Year of the Dragon poster - - lgwiz03501



Image Credit: Joe Leasure @

Traditionally, dragons are said to be associated with the following:

Zodiac Location: 5th position in the 12-year cycle of animals in the Chinese zodiac and calendar

Equivalent Western Astrological Sign: Aries (The Ram)

Fixed Element: Fire

Direction: East-southeast

Polarity: Yang

Key Characteristics: Honest, strong, and brave

Most Compatible With: Rats, Snakes, Monkeys, and Roosters

Ruling Hours: 7:00 am - 9:00 am

Season: Spring (April)

Stem: Positive

Lunar Months: 5 April - 4 May

Birth: Anytime, except during a storm

Colors: Clear, yellow, black

Birthstone: Diamond

Plants: Mandrake, sage

Flower: Lotus

Food: Wheat, poultry

Taste: Acid

Climate: Windy

Motto: "I Reign"

Ruling Countries: Bulgaria, China, Denmark, Iran, Italy, Japan, Micronesia, United Kingdom, Vietnam

Chinese Astrology - What you need to know to survive in a crazy cosmic world.

2012 may have been the Year of the Water Dragons...but cosmic creatures never disappear just because it's someone else's turn to jump into the spotlight.

Chinese Astrology: Exploring the Eastern Zodiac
Chinese Astrology: Exploring the Eastern Zodiac

For those who wish to explore the ancient insight and wisdom found in Eastern astrology.

Your Chinese Horoscope 2013: What the Year of the Snake Holds in Store for You
Your Chinese Horoscope 2013: What the Year of the Snake Holds in Store for You

It's never too late to find out what may appear in your life during the Year of the Snake.

Joey Yap's Chinese Astrology for 2013
Joey Yap's Chinese Astrology for 2013

A comprehensive guide to all Chinese zodiac signs in the Year of the Snake.

Lillian Too & Jennifer Too Fortune & Feng Shui 2013 Dragon
Lillian Too & Jennifer Too Fortune & Feng Shui 2013 Dragon

Fame and fortune are always in good supply for dragons, even in the Year of the Snake.


“To attract good fortune, spend a new penny on an old friend, share an old pleasure with a new friend and lift up the heart of a true friend by writing his name on the wings of a dragon.”

-- A Chinese Proverb --


Open your Kind Deeds Pocket and give generously to IRIS THE DRAGON charity!

lris the Dragon is a registered Canadian charity that is a known producer of children's books to educate young audiences on mental health and wellness.

With over a decade of experience, Iris the Dragon's mission has been to provide educational material for adults and young readers that can facilitate a conversation among parents, teachers and children about issues relating to mental health and wellness in a non-threatening manner.

Iris the Dragon's books address a variety of emotional, behavioural and neurodevelopmental conditions and recognize the importance of family, school, and community in promoting the potential of every child.


Image and Quote Credit: Iris The Dragon Charity


Dragons are said to have magnetic, persuasive personalities, capable of either spectacular success or abysmal failure. Dragons tend to be intelligent, adventuresome, sincere and enthusiastic which means they also have a lot of faith in themselves and have no fear in speaking their minds. Of course, they can also be a little intimidating to some if not abrupt and a tad tactless along with their penchant for being demanding, short-tempered, and impatient. Let's face it -- exactly who is perfect?

The truth of the matter is that despite their impressive appearance, deep down dragons are disatisfied and discontented which is probably why they spend a good deal of the time in their dens. The happiest dragons are those that are involved in some new project, campaign or perhaps love affair -- they do not take too kindly to fiddling their fingers or twiddling their toes if they had any.

It is said that dragons will only be truly content when they look at themselves in the mirror, accept their vulnerability, and use it to balance their exuberance.

NOTE: For those interacting with dragons, avoid stepping on their tales, threatening them with pointy-things, or calling them nasty names -- this will not endear them to you.

WOOD DRAGON: The Wood Dragon is creative, imaginative, and inquisitive. Being both a thinker and a doer, the Wood Dragon is guided by sound logic, ambition and drive which allow him to put many of his ideas into practice. This dragon goes out of his way not to offend others. In fact, he will even compromise if it is to his advantage. Less self-centered than other dragons, he is still nevertheless outspoken and fearless when challenged.

FIRE DRAGON: The Fire Dragon is the most extroverted and competitive dragon. More often than not he pushes too hard and expects a good deal from everyone. His fierey tongue suggest that his criticisms are both objective and often warranted and he is noted for his ability to arouse massive popular support. On the negative side, his insatiable ambition can make him a tad short-tempered and intolerant. Never afraid to lead and even build empires, his greatest challenge is to to learn how to use "people skills" to communicate more modestly and patiently with everyone.

EARTH DRAGON: The Earth Dragon is a quieter, more reflective dragon, appreciative of other's opinions even if he fails to agree with them. He is reasonable in his approach to problems and his leadership is less 'my way or the highway'. He is not given to outbursts of temper, but at the same time, he demands respect. He knows the value of cooperation and is more diplomatic than other dragons allowing him to curb his ambitions and carefully think through the consequences of his actions.

METAL DRAGON: The Metal Dragon is the most strong-willed of all the dragons. He tends to be inflexible, unbending and combative. He knows how to rapidly rise to a position of authority but often at the cost of destroying important relationships. Forget about trying to convince him that certain things are simply undoable, it's futile. Often, he will go it alone if he can't gain support, and is likely to succeed because he refuses to accept failure.

WATER DRAGON: The Water Dragon is less self-centered, opinionated and power-oriented than the other dragons. He can accept without complaining or resorting to recrimination. He makes a good negotiator as he knows when, where, and how to use power effectively, preferring to manouever skillfully through difficulty rather than relying on brute force to secure his goal. His greatest challenge is to learn how to let go what is not feasible so that he can concentrate his energies on the most rewarding endeavors.


Image Credit: Dragon - Cavalo Marinho 1 - tuttygualberto


Schleich Dragon
Schleich Dragon

Who says dragons can't fly!

Plush Jade Blue Dragon 15"
Plush Jade Blue Dragon 15"

Who says dragons aren't cuddly critters?

Ravensburger Fire Dragon
Ravensburger Fire Dragon

Those who love a challenge will adore this dragon!

Handmade Ignot /Yuan Bao Flower Charm Amulet for Wealth Luck (With a Betterdecor Gift Pouch)
Handmade Ignot /Yuan Bao Flower Charm Amulet for Wealth Luck (With a Betterdecor Gift Pouch)

Here be a golden dragon -- one who is idealistic, intelligent, and irresistible!


"Meddle not in the affairs of the dragon; for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup."



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Contrary to popular opinion, dragons are now power-hungry pests, although more often than not they do tend to end up at the top of their profession -- because leadership is what they do best.

Putzing along doing mundane or routine tasks does not turn the dragon's crank -- but if you've got a problem you can't solve -- just call upon the dragon; they're great at innovating and creating not to mention directing and troubleshooting.

Typical dragon occupations:

Managing Director

Film Star or Film Director


President, Prime Minister -- Big Kahuna

Sales/Advertising Executive



Photojournalist or War Correspondent

Professional/Motivational Speaker

Dragon dudes know how to have fun! - Which is more than I can say for homo sapiens who work 24/7.


Image Credit: "Dragon Summer Fun" illustration -



Image Credit: Illustration by Bill

Dragons have a multitude of interests, pastimes, and recreational pursuits. The only trouble is that the dragon does not tend to stay in things for the long haul which is usually way too boring for this bold or bodacious beast who likes to travel light when it comes to vacations.

The typical dragon is happily engrossed one week in learning all there is know about yoga including how to snooze quietly on a mat and medidate until the cows come home or some such thing. The next week, he or she will sign up for a flutophone class not realizing that it helps to have fingers to cover the holes and the ability to blow for a long time through a tiny mouthpiece. Well so much for music about a game of tiddlywinks or croquet?

Dragons are not noted for wanting to spend hours exercising or training -- that's far too tedious. Dragons need activities that are exciting -- meaning oodles of adventure with as few risks as possible plus lots of short breaks that include sampling tasting food, fizzy beverages, and the odd lofty peak thrown in for good measure (but it should have a helicopter landing pad nearby ready to take him/her to the next dandy dragon destination)!



Image Credit:

Well, when push comes to shove, and dragons don't mind throwing their weight around -- especially if it's for a good cause, they have a few they like:

any sort of celebration such as festivals, parties, shindigs, picnics, fireworks -- you name it -- he/she is ready, willing, and able to join in the fun

going on a holiday or travelling and roller-coaster rides: minus any nasty surprises of course

to give advice or be in charge: yes someone has to do it and it might as well be a dragon!

championing causes: saving damsels in distress, protecting and preserving all manner of things including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

"It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

-- J.R.R. Tolkien, English author of "The Lord of the Rings", (1892-1973)

A Marvelous Memento - Year of the Dragon 2012 Coin

Australian Lunar Silver Coin Series II 2012 Year of the Dragon Gilded Edition
Australian Lunar Silver Coin Series II 2012 Year of the Dragon Gilded Edition

Time to collect a bit of silver - a sign of prosperity, especially if one has a dragon on one's side, or in one's pocket!


Speaking of Mesmerizing Mystical Things



Puff The Magic Dragon - C'mon now every...sing-a-ling and make all those dragons happy!


It's hard to soar with dragons when you work with gargoyles.

"May the dragon of life only roast your hot-dogs and never burn your buns!"

THE DRAGON LADY POLL - A feisty fire-breathing feline should never go to waste!


Image Credit: Ron Leishman -

Which Dragon Lady can spit tacks the best?

See results

"If you can't take the heat, don't tickle the dragon."



Image Credit: Beatles Dragon by illustrator Kenny Durkin -

Charles Darwin - Naturalist, 12 Feb. 1809, Aquarius

Florence Nightingale, Nurse, 12 May 1820, Taurus

Friedrich Nietzsche, German Philosopher, 15 October 1844, Libra

Sigmund Freud, Psychiatrist, 6 May 1856, Taurus

George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright, 16 July 1856, Leo

Salvador Dali, Artist, 11 May 1904, Artist, Taurus

Kirk Douglas, Actor, 9 December 1916, Sagittarius

Earth Kitt, Singer, 26 January 1928, Aquarius

Che Guevara, Revolutionary, 14 June 1928, Gemini

Martin Luther King, Civil Rights Leader, 15 January 1929, Capricorn

Ringo Starr, Musician - Member of Beatles, 7 July 1940, Cancer

John Lennon, Singer/Composer - Member of Beatles, 9 October 1940, Libra

Pele, South American Soccer Player, 23 October 1940, Scorpio

Joan Baez, Folksinger, 9 January 1941, Capricorn

Pierce Brosnan, Actor, 16 May 1952, Taurus

Who says you can't tame or train a dragon?

Dinglebell Dragon knows how to mash mistletoe, melt abominable people of Snow, and get into the festive spirit by flipping a few frigging eggs and pancakes!


Image Credit: Mistletoe Breakfast Dragon -



Image Credit: Illustrator, Kenny Durkin,

Dragon Delights - Dingle Dangles for fire-breathing folks

Mythic Reflections Ornament Collection: Fire and Water Dragon Ornament Set One by The Bradford Editions
Mythic Reflections Ornament Collection: Fire and Water Dragon Ornament Set One by The Bradford Editions

What's a tree without a curious collection of critters at Christmas time.

Design Toscano Twist and Twirl Dragon Ornament
Design Toscano Twist and Twirl Dragon Ornament

The holly and the ivy give dragons a warm and prickly feeling, especially at Christmas time.

Design Toscano Christmas Tree Ornaments - Protector of the Gothic Portal Celtic Dragon Holiday Ornament - Dragon Statue - Christmas Decorations
Design Toscano Christmas Tree Ornaments - Protector of the Gothic Portal Celtic Dragon Holiday Ornament - Dragon Statue - Christmas Decorations

Who says you don't need a little help to sit on on that gold you're saving for the next economic crash?


Dragons don't beg and we don't do tricks! - Just put those treats in my pumpkin pot or I'll sizzle you to a crisp!!


Image Credit: Dennis Holmes Designs -

May the Dapper Dragon drop all sorts of gorgeous goodies on your front doorstep.

And may he also warm the cockles of your heart and roast your chestnuts or mashmallows on an open fire.


Image Credit: Christmas dragon -



Image Credit: Illustrator - betsystreeter

What do French Dragons consume at Christmas?

See results

DRAGON DELIGHTS - Feel free to leave your comments about dragons -- why you like them, or why you would like fewer of them in your life.

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    Post Comment
    • Seasons Greetings profile image

      Laura Brown 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I was born in the Year of the Dragon. Not this one.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love it, Love it, Love it. LOL! I was born in the Year of the Water Dragon in 1952 as a Pisces. Just celebrated my 60th again in the Year of the Water Dragon.

    • RosemaryB profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow. What a fabulous lens. You obviously enjoy the Chinese zodiac and art as well.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thats awsome! my girlfriend is a dragon, I have other family members that are dragons as well. This year of the dragon is getting better already! Great lens!

    • Tom Maybrier profile image

      Tom Maybrier 

      7 years ago

      I'm an Earth Dragon and I'm very much looking forward to this Year of the Dragon!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This will be my first Lunar New Year and I can't wait, it sounds pretty exciting. Great lens!

    • patinkc profile image


      7 years ago from Midwest

      Lots of fun reading your Dragon lens. Featuring it on my Chinese Astrology lens.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      8 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Love your account of the year of the dragon - my year. Looking forward to a whole new crop being born next year - the more dragons the merrier! Blessed.


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