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The Year of the Dragon - 2012

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Monday Jan. 23, will be celebrated as the first day of the 2012 Chinese Lunar New Year. Traditionally, this marks a time of reconciliation, forgetting grudges and sincerely wishing peace and happiness for everyone.

The date also ushers in the most important festival in the Chinese calendar. The coming Chinese New Year brings the Year of the Dragon - also known as the Black Dragon or Water Dragon.
Since the Dragon historically brings water, implications are that 2012 will be a strong water year - a fact not lost on the still-parched Hill Country. And if "water from the sky makes a dam overflow," the repairs on the Medina Lake Dam came none too soon.

An iconic image, the Dragon served as the symbol of the Chinese emperor's imperial power. In fact, the English used the term "Dragon Throne" to identify the throne of the Emperor of China.

Legend has it that since the Dragon is coated with mysterious color, the Chinese consider it to be unpredictable and untouchable. Therefore, it is possible that something unexpected will happen in 2012 - a daunting prediction when one considers all the possibilities.

The Year of the Dragon will also be marked by excitement, exhilaration and intensity. After the cautious optimism of the soon-to-see-the-last-of Year of the Rabbit, people will likely respond to the spirit of the Dragon with "energy, vitality and unbridled enthusiasm." However, people must beware not to unwisely throw caution to the wind. While the Dragon is about drama, those who take unnecessary risks may find themselves involved in their own personal tragedies.

Therefore, to ring in the Year of the Dragon - and experience good luck during the following year - don red clothing, visit the China Bowl at 1203 Pecan Street and eat fish - or any other ocean-dwelling denizen - for dinner.

Red symbolizes fire, which, according to legend, can drive away bad luck. In addition, the Chinese word for fish sounds like "save more." Because of this, Chinese people try to save money at the end of year. This, they believe, will enable them to make more money during the next year.

In fact, a Chinese lucky saying for eating fish is: "May you always get more than you wish for" - not a bad thought.

At any rate, the Bandera County Courier wishes everyone a very prosperous Year of the Dragon - the 4709th Chinese New Year.

After all, you never know.

www.chinahighlights.com )