Every year, February is specially reserved for Valentine’s Day, when love, romance, and friendships are celebrated. We give and receive tokens of affection, like flowers and chocolates, and on this day, we only think good things and express good feelings toward one another.
Even though my children are now all grown, I still have such fond memories of preparing their friendship cards and heart-shaped candies so they could give them out to their teachers and classmates in school. We always made sure that all classmates, not just their closest friends, would get a gift and a card.
While every Valentine’s Day is memorable, this year’s celebration is about to go down in history for being extra special, complete with a surprise visit by a mythical creature from across the ocean! And, I mean it.
The fact is that this Chinese Lunar New Year starts on February 10, and 2024 is the Year of the Dragon. Since the holiday lasts for two weeks, this powerful, age-old festivity is about to have a rendezvous with Valentine’s Day, creating a unique double event when hearts and fire collide.
In ancient China, the dragon represented imperial power. Today, Chinese people still consider it to be the ultimate symbol of strength, luck, and success. Of the 12 rotating birth animals in the Chinese zodiac, the dragon is the only unearthly creature. Since it is believed to possess celestial powers, its year is auspicious.
Many young people faithfully follow the old cultural traditions, choosing to get married, having a baby, or starting a business in a Dragon Year. They hope that this majestic, powerful being will bring them much luck, success, and happiness. Besides, who wouldn’t want to have a dragon as a watchful guard over their important life events?
This year, when Valentines meet the mighty powerful dragon, our world will be painted redder than ever. It will be festooned with hearts, kissy lips, lanterns, ribbons, and lots of decorative fire-crackers, symbolizing the dawn of another Chinese New Year and lots of love.
Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Year of the Dragon!
Refections From the East Column
By Qin Sun Stubis