2012 The Chinese New Year of the Black Water Dragon

The first day of the 2012 Chinese New Year is on January 23, 2012 in China's time zone. This day is a new moon day, and is the first day of the first Chinese lunar month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar system. The exact new moon time is at 15:40 on 23-Jan-12 in China's time zone.

The Year 2012 is the 4709th Chinese year. The Chinese believe that the first king of China was the Yellow King (Huang Di), though he was not the first emperor of China. The Yellow King became king in 2697 B.C., therefore China will enter the 4709th year on January 23, 2012.

The Chinese system of counting years uses a cycle of 60 stems and branches, which combines "Yin" and "yang" with the "five elements" (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water)-to make 10 stems-and 12 animals. The Black Water Dragon is the 28th Stem-Branch in the cycle. The "stem" order is Yang Wood, Yin Wood, Yang Fire, Yin Fire, Yang Earth, Yin Earth, Yang Metal, Yin Metal, Yang Water and Yin Water. The Branch sequence order is Rat, Cow, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Chicken, Dog and Pig. Because water is connected to black in the five-element system, the year 2012 is also called the Black Dragon year.

Some web sites say the year 2012 is the 4710th Chinese year. One possible explanation for the discrepancy is that the Yellow King's inauguration was supposedly held in the spring of 2697 B.C. But the day that was used as the first day of the year was the winter solstice, which was around December 23rd, 2698 B.C. Today's "January 1st" meant nothing to the Yellow King. If we count that extra eight days in 2698 B.C., then year 2012 is the 4710th Chinese year.

The Dragon has Nine Sons

The dragon is a legendary creature from the sky or heaven in China. The character of the dragon is mystical, occult, noble and untouchable. For China, it is the symbol of power from heaven. The Chinese emperor was considered the son of heaven. In imperial times. the emperor had the authority to send command to dragons. After 581 AD, Chinese emperors began to wear imperial robes with dragon symbols. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD), the dragon can be seen everywhere on the roofs, doors, pillars, bridges, and even utensils in the Forbidden City where the imperial family lived. The most powerful dragon is the five-clawed dragon. It appears only on the yellow imperial robe. Because of this, the dragon is one of most auspicious animals in China.

They say that the dragon has nine sons. Many of the tales about the nine dragons appeared in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). One story is the following.

The dragon sent its nine sons to help the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty to conquer China. After completing the mission, the nine dragons were preparing to return to heaven, but the emperor wanted them to continue to help him. The nine dragons wouldn't stay and the emperor couldn't stop them. However, the emperor decided to play a trick on the most powerful dragon, the sixth son. He tricked the sixth dragon into carrying a magic stele with a carved inscription, which could suppress any ghost, spirit or evil creature. The sixth dragon couldn't move under the magic stele, and all of his other brothers wouldn't leave without him. However, they wouldn't work for the emperor anymore. They decided to no longer show their dragon identities and turned themselves into evil creatures. Since then, the nine dragons have stayed in China.

The nine dragon have different themes, and they all have different versions too. We skip their names because all of their names are hard to remember. One version is:

* The 1st son loves music. The head of Number 1 son becomes a decoration for music instrument, such as two-stringed bowed violin (huqin).

* The 2nd son loves fighting. Many different handles of weapons have the symbol of Number 2 son.

* The 3rd son loves adventure and keeping guard. He has prestige and is the symbol of safety, harmony and peace.

* The 4th son loves howling. The image of Number 4 son can be found on the big bells. It is a symbol of protection and alertness.

* The 5th son loves quietness, sitting, fire and smoke. His image is often found in temples, such as on incense burners.

* The 6th son has the power of strength. He loves to carry heavy stuff to show off his magic energy. He is a symbol of longevity and good luck.

* The 7th son loves to seek justice. Chinese like to apply his symbol around law, court, or jail.

* The 8th son loves literature. Chinese like to put the 8th son as a symbol around steles. When used in this way, it is a symbol of knowledge or education.

* The 9th son loves water. He is a symbol to prevent fire disasters.

Nine Dragons Painting

There is a famous peerless Nine Dragons Painting by Chen Rong from the Sung Dynasty (1127-1279). Nine is the highest digit and stands for top rank. Nine is also related to the sky in I-Ching. That's why the imperial robes of Ching Dynasty have nine dragons on it.

Dragon Philosophy of I-Ching

There are nine dragons engraved on the wall and ground in the Forbidden City in Beijing, the imperial palace of the Qing Dynasty. The yellow imperial robes are woven with nine dragons. This is because the number nine has special meaning in China. Nine represents a powerful number is from the ancient book of divination, the I-Ching.

The I-Ching is the foundation of Chinese Yin Yang philosophy and is the oldest oracle tool in China, used by interpreting the changes of natural phenomena of our universe and their relevance to human activity.

Dragon on the SkyHexagram LevelNumber NameDragon NameBrief Explanation
  69-6Regretful DragonDragon cannot fly higher. It will regret, for there is no more room to move and enjoy.
  59-5Flying DragonDragon flies on the sky. A victorious, successful Dragon owns wealth and power.
49-4Jumping DragonDragon looks for an opportunity to jump higher, but it needs to keep a certain altitude.
  39-3Diligent DragonDragon has the basic skill, but is not good enough. It needs to keep watching and learning from others.
  29-2Field DragonDragon appears on the ground, but it still needs a wise man to help him learn.
  19-1Hidden DragonBaby Dragon needs to learn how to survive. Don't take any action. Waiting for an opportunity.

2012 Year of Dragon - Astrology Calendar

In China's time zone, the first day of the Water Dragon Year is February 4, 2012, because February 4th, 2012 is the first day of Tiger month and the Tiger month is the first month of the year in Chinese fortune telling Calendar system.

In the Chinese Fortune-Telling calendar, the first day of the first month, Tiger month, is called "Start of Spring", which is when the sun enters the 315th degree on the tropical zodiac. In the China's time zone, the time of the Start of Spring is at Feb-04 18:23. So the first day of the Black Dragon year 2012 is on 04-Feb-12.

The Chinese New Year Day of 2012 is on January 23, 2012. It's 12 days early before the first day of the astrology calendar in 2012. There is a very common misconception that the astrology animal signs begin on the Chinese New Year day in many Internet sites. Actually, the Astrology animal signs begin from the Start of Spring, the first day of the astrological year. For example, if a baby was born after the Chinese New Year Day in January 2012, then its animal sign is the Rabbit, not Dragon, because the birthday is before the Start of Spring. If you are still confused about your animal sign, we have an Animal Sign page for people to verify their Chinese birth year animal signs.

2012 Chinese Horoscope Forecast

To forecast our luck in the coming years, we first have to know what elements and animals are in our Birth Chart. 2012 is the year of Male Water Dragon. Dragon contains Earth, Water and Wood. If your Lucky Element is Water, then you will have pretty good luck in 2012. If your Lucky Element is Earth, then you will gain some degree of good luck in 2012. The Dragon is the last year of Wooden Cycle, which is from 2010 to 2012. If your Lucky Element is Wood and you do well in the 2011 Rabbit year, then your luck will continue.

The complete Chinese Five Element Astrology is at Chinese Astrology 2012 for The Year of Black Dragon. To find more information about your Chinese astrology forecast, visit http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/2012ChineseHoroscope.htm. For more information on the Chinese zodiac, see also Christopher M. Clarke, Chasing Dragonflies, which can be purchased on our website under "Books."

Adapted from http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/2012.htm