LUNAR NEW YEAR 2000:
YEAR of the METAL DRAGON
"The Willow Tree"
(From the as yet unpublished Green World Oracle by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.,
illustrations by Sandra Stanton)
Kuan Yin pours the spiraling elixir of life over Eurasia
while the Blue Dragon of Healing returns the moon
(Courtesy of Sandra Stanton)
From Shelly Wu comes this page on the Year of the Metal Dragon, an auspicious year, according to Chinese astrology. This Dragon year begins 5 February 2000 and ends 23 January 2001. [This site is double-listed on my Star Lore page.]http://www.asianfamily.com/lunar_new_year.htm...On February 5th, 2000 We enter the year of the Metal Dragon. Unlike the other animals of the Chinese zodiac, the Dragon is a mythical creature, and the sign of good luck and vital health. Unlike the frightening Dragon of Western mythology, Chinese Dragons are benevolent creatures who live in the heavens and command the wind, mist, rain, thunder and lightning....
...our planet should progress quite nicely in the next two years, which correspond to the years of the ‘lucky’ Metal Dragon, and the ‘wise’ Metal Snake. As a matter-of-fact, these two years are thought to be better than average in the twelve year cycle that is the Chinese zodiacal system....
This site is called "Welcome to the Year of the Millennium Dragon!":http://chineseculture.about.com/culture/chineseculture/library/weekly/aa010900a.htmThe New Millennium will begin with the Year of the Metal Dragon (lunar year 4698). That's when the Dragon will rise to power and control the universe!. According to Chinese legends, opportunities and prosperity will shower mankind during the Year of the Dragon....Included in the page's general information is Resources: if you click on the link, you'll find annotated pages with many family and classroom-oriented links to dragons, festive lore, customs, food, photos, Asian astrology, and much more. Here are five of the most important:
http://www.hkta.org/gallery/interactive.htmlThese are terrific "interactive" animated stories on Asian & European Dragons -- the eight little "chapters" each take a few minutes to load, but they're worth the wait (you can choose versions with or without sound). [This site is double-linked on my Dragons & Serpents page].
2. http://www.asianfamily.com/k_newyear_resources.htmThese are annotated links for Korean New Year -- I only had time to check the first two but found the first one (Click Asia) informative and beautifully illustrated, and the second one (Korean Insights) a great resource for children, especially the delightfully illustrated folk tales. There are also links to more academically oriented data. 3.
http://www.asianfamily.com/chinese_ny_resources.htmThis page provides an exceptionally wide range of annotated links to Chinese New Year: history, lore, lanterns, food, dance, dragon costumes, art, games, cards to send, and much more.
http://www.asianfamily.com/j_newyear_resources.htmThis page has annotated links to Japanese New Year: there are fewer links here because many Japanese celebrate the New Year from January 1-3 instead of using the more traditional lunar calendar [see below]. Nevertheless, though few, the links are well chosen, especially those for children on special New Year's toys and games.
http://www.asianfamily.com/tet_resources.htmThis an extensive collection of annotated links to the Vietnamese Tet celebration -- the links include folklore, customs, the Vietnamese zodiac, food, art, and college term papers with many well researched details (and bibliographies). Of those I checked, the quality was first rate.
For more details, don't miss this page from Jun Shan, the Chinese Culture guide at about.com, who tells an ancient tale of a fierce monster named Nian and a wise old man who saved his people from Nian. This story lies at the root of Chinese New Year. (Note: this tale is mentioned briefly on other sites but this is the only place where I found the full story.)http://chineseculture.about.com/culture/chineseculture/library/weekly/aa010300a.htm
Again from Jun Shan comes a charming page on each household's "Kitchen God" (a kind of cosmic spy), whose feast falls a week before Chinese New Year. On this day the deity returns to heaven to make a report on the family's good or ill deeds over the preceding year. Read the page to find out how the family makes sure the report is in their favor. It gives a whole new meaning to the concept of "sacrifice."http://insidechina.com/culture/festival/newyear/luntrad.php3
Note: both this page and the one directly above are two among many interesting links on Jun Shan's index for ChineseNew Year's found at: http://chineseculture.about.com/culture/chineseculture/library/weekly/topicsub1.htm
From Inside China Today comes another page on Chinese New Year. It offers a number of related links on Chinese astrology and festive traditions. Although as of 24 January 2000, these include linked pages to the current Year of the Rabbit, information on the upcoming Year of the Dragon will soon replace these. Direct links to pages on "Peach Wood Charms" and the "Lantern Festival" will be found below........http://insidechina.com/culture/festival/newyear/peach.php3
This is "Peach Wood Charms and Evil Spirits, a reference to red papers adorning Chinese doors at Lunar New Year. The red papers replace charms originally carved or painted on peach wood:http://insidechina.com/culture/festival/newyear/festiv.php3...According to legend, two brothers, Shennai and Yulei, lived on a beautiful mountain and grew a large grove of peach trees. They often helped the poor fight against monsters and demons. After their death, the two brothers became gods in heaven and were ordered by the Supreme Deity of Heaven to punish the evil spirits. The story says the spirits were so scared of the two brothers that even the mere sight of the peach trees they had planted would be enough to scare the spirits away, hence the peach wood charms....
This brief page from Inside China Today looks at the lantern festival held in China on the 15th day of the first lunar month:http://dmoz.org/Society/Holidays/New_Year/Chinese_New_Year/...In ancient China, new year celebrations started from New Year's Eve and reached a second climax during the Lantern Festival....The page looks at the charming legend of the Lantern Festival -- it involves firecrackers, a city full of red lanterns, and a dumpling-making heroine (a palace maid named Yuanxiao).
This is a small and select collection of annotated Chinese New Year links from the Open Directory. This is a great place to browse if you're looking for more in-depth explanations of Asian beliefs, calendars, astrology, and lore.http://www.chinapage.com/newyr1.html
[Added 2 February 2000]: From "China the Beautiful" comes a page of lovely graphics which are traditionally hung throughout the house for Chinese New Year's. The best are from Yanliuqing, which were first produced between 1573 and 1620. There are 3 linked pages here -- be sure to go to the last one where you'll be able to click on a fascinating retelling (richly illustrated) of "The Legend of the White Snake" -- it features a wise heroine (the White Snake), her loving husband, free herbal medicine given to those who can't afford it, and a return from the dead.http://www.chinapage.com/dragon1.html
[Added 2 February 2000]: Again from "China the Beautiful" comes a page on dragons in ancient Chinese architecture, paintings, and on royal robes.http://www.limsi.fr/Recherche/CIG/etet1.htm
[Added 2 February 2000]: This is an exquisite page on Vietnamese Tet. It's available in both French and English.http://www.gidra.net/Spring_99/new_year.html
This is an engaging site by Japanese American, Dean Toji, on many pan-Asian New Year celebrations -- these range from November to mid-April.http://www.jun-gifts.com/others/culturalcalendar4/culturalcalendar4.htm[Updated 4/3/00]
As far as I can tell, although New Year's is now generally celebrated January 1-3 in Japan, many of the customs connected with this celebration have simply been shifted from the much older lunar New Year. Thus, I am including this link on this page instead of on my Solstice/Yuletide page. This enjoyable site looks at Japanese New Year's customs and offers a wide range of clickable photos depicting decorations, symbols, foods, and much more.
. .OTHER RELEVANT
To the Current Lunar New Year page
To the Asia menu-page
To Common Themes: Time
(Calendars, Millennial Issues, etc)
To Common Themes: Dragons & Serpents
To the Imbolc page
To the Springtide Greetings 2000 page
© 2000-2001 Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
Begun: 17 January 2000;
page annotated and published 24 January 2000.
26 January 2000; 2 February 2000; 3 April 2000.
17 January 2001:
gave this page a new URL:
I'm retaining the other one for my current Lunar New Year page;
no links have been updated here --
all work but some already refer to the Snake Year instead of the Dragon.
10 November 2001: removed a link that no longer offers appropriate data.
3 May 2011: in header, added "Metal" to Dragon (this was my first Lunar New Year page
& I hadn't yet started adding the elements to the animals for each year).
I've leaving the page's link unchanged, however, to avoid a maze of further changes.