Chinese New Year: the year of the Wood Dragon

Chinese New Year is also known as the lunar new year, and it begins with the rising of the second new moon after the winter solstice.

The date is decided by the Chinese Lunar Calendar, which is based on the cycles of the moon and sun and is generally 21–51 days behind the Gregorian (internationally-used) calendar.

The Year of the Wood Dragon begins on Sunday February 10, 2024 and is believed to be able to foster growth, progress and abundance.

The dragon is related to success, intelligence and honour in Chinese culture, while wood dragons are full of energy and dream of changing the world.

Why is it a Wood Dragon?

In Chinese astrology, the 12 zodiac animals are each affiliated with an element – metal, wood, water, fire, earth – as they move around the zodiac cycle, and when an animal reappears after 12 years its elemental affiliation will shift. For example, 2012 was the Year of the Water Dragon and 2036 will be the Year of the Fire Dragon.

People born under each elemental zodiac animal sign have a unique set of personality traits that influence their lives, not unlike the concept behind the Western zodiac signs.

Wood represents vitality and creativity, while the dragon is related to success, intelligence and honour in Chinese culture.

This combination makes people born in the Year of the Wood Dragon full of energy and drive. They dream of changing the world and are good at coming up with innovative ideas and implementing them. They are perfectionists and will not give up on their goals easily.


Fire Dragons, meanwhile, are described as energetic, confident and charismatic. They possess leadership skills and a spirit of adventure, and pursue their goals with courage. They are good at connecting with others and, therefore, often find success in entrepreneurship or creative industries.

Earth Dragons have a talent for building stable and sustainable development in their career and money. They are usually very focused on their goals and have good organisational and management skills.

Metal Dragons have leadership skills and business vision, are good at taking advantage of opportunities to create wealth, and have good investment intuition.

Finally, Water Dragons are compassionate and good at understanding the emotions of others, so they usually handle interpersonal relationships well and are willing to provide support and help to others.

The Year of the Wood Dragon presents as an opportune time to build a solid foundation for something new with long-term potential. The last Year of the Wood Dragon was 60 years ago, in 1964.

That year, The Beatles took America by storm, which deeply influenced Western music development for the next half-century. And the US Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Johnson.

Oh, and it is the year that I was born…just saying.

Did you know?

In Thailand, the Lunar New Year animal is the Naga instead of the Dragon. The Naga is a snake like monster, which is worshipped to bring fertility and wealth.

Happy Chinese New Year!

There are multiple blessings and greetings for Chinese New Year. But there are variations even for the most basic “Happy New Year!”

The simplest is Happy New Year: in Mandarin, this is: 新年快 (xīn nián kuài lè)

If you would like to say “Happy New Year” in Cantonese, this is pronounced: San Nin Faai Lok.

Page last updated 8 February 2024