1. Chinese Zodiac

Year of the Dragon: Chinese Zodiac Sign, Personality, Compatibility

Dragon Chinese Zodiac Sign

The dragon is a revered creature in Chinese astrology and culture. Like the mythical animal, people born under the fifth zodiac animal sign of the Chinese lunar calendar are powerful, responsible, and full of life. They are warriors and protectors, although as children, they can come off as self-centered. Once they mature and realize their life goals, however, Dragons will come into their full might.

The fact that a person was born in the year of the Dragon affects their work, love, and luck in traditional Chinese culture. In addition, each year’s horoscope will be auspicious or inauspicious for different signs, depending on whether the sign clashes or cooperates with the year. For example, you risk offending the Guardian God of the year if it’s your zodiac birth year (Ben Ming Nian).

Chinese Zodiac Years for Dragon

In the lunar calendar, each of the 12 zodiac signs governs a single year that begins with the Chinese New Year, until the whole 12-year cycle starts again. The most recent year of the Dragon was 2012, and the next one is coming up in 2024. Our Chinese zodiac calculator can tell you if you were born in the year of the Dragon.

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Chart of Dragon Years, Dates, and Elements

Dragon Year

Start of the Lunar Year

End of the Lunar Year

Element

1928

February 23, 1928

February 9, 1929

Earth

1940

February 9, 1940

January 26, 1941

Metal

1952

January 27, 1952

February 13, 1953

Water

1964

February 13, 1964

February 1, 1965

Wood

1976

January 31, 1976

February 17, 1977

Fire

1988

February 17, 1988

February 5, 1989

Earth

2000

February 5, 2000

January 23, 2001

Metal

2012

January 23, 2012

February 9, 2013

Water

2024

February 10, 2024

January 25, 2025

Wood

2036

January 28, 2036

February 14, 2037

Fire

Dragon Zodiac: Personality and Traits

​​Dragons are direct, hardworking, and competitive. They’re used to leading in any situation. People naturally gravitate towards Dragons, who are natural motivators, although they themselves tend to be self-motivated, with a sense of mission. At the same time, there’s something almost wild about this zodiac, which, if without control, can grow into a disagreeable, at times even violent, temperament.

The Dragon is powerful and decisive; a proud zodiac animal with great potential to succeed, but also the potential for destruction.

The worst fate that can befall a Dragon is if they don’t have work. Like the Snake, they can be quite restless. All of a Dragon’s talents and inborn power will be used for destruction if they don’t burn off the excess energy that this zodiac sign contains. Without the Northern Star of a life goal, the Dragon’s like a vehicle without fuel— destined to languish by the wayside no matter how powerful it could have been.

If they find a goal to strive towards, however, there’s nothing that the Dragon cannot accomplish. At their best, Dragons can shoulder the weight of their whole family—or even the whole world—on their shoulders. Goals also help the Dragon grow into a more thoughtful being, one that doesn’t simply rely on their brawn.

Male Dragons

Male Dragons are generous and magnanimous. They will have plenty of friends as a result. They know what they want in life, which applies both to work and to love. Male Dragons are a spiritual group and wish to find a romantic partner who sees past their worldly possessions and can commune with them in an elevated realm.

Female Dragons

Female Dragons are majestic and confident, although their egos may be too much for others. They often sport avant-garde fashion, but they could care less if others approve of their look. Dragon women will rise meteorically at work, which at times leads them to relegate love to the back burner. Whether that’s a wise choice depends on each individual, in the end.

Dragon and the Five Elements

The Chinese five-element theory classifies everything, including the zodiac signs, into five elements:  metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. Dragon is governed by earth, but you can also be considered a Dragon of five elements, with different traits, depending on the year of your birth. If you were born in 2000, for example, you’re a Metal Dragon.

Element

Year

Personality

Metal

1940, 2000

Metal Dragons are open and generous, although they can be a bit simple-minded at times. They are prone to emotional outbursts and can be very capricious, which makes them hard for some to be around. Fortunately, Metal Dragons also tend to have good luck and are, therefore, often joyful, counterbalancing their more temperamental side.

Water

1952, 2012

Water Dragons are ambitious and goal-oriented. They won’t be satisfied with the run-of-the-mill lifestyle but will instead work with tenacity towards something that may prove years in the making. They’re humorous and are probably the most successful Dragons in terms of love. All’s well as long as they don’t burn out from their load!

Wood

1964, 2024

Compared to other Dragons, Wood Dragons are less likely to be the center of attention. They don’t talk as much or come across as very charismatic. But the Wood Dragon is a diamond in the rough—with time and considerable effort at self-cultivation, they’re primed to brighten the entire night sky, no matter where they are.

Fire

1976, 2036

Fire Dragons tend to be rather good-looking, no matter if they’re men or women. This can open doors for Fire Dragons, but it’ll be their incredible work ethic and their ability to gauge the situation that’ll help them go far in life. The only drawback is that, at times, they can appear less principled or too self-interested, which can rub some people the wrong way.

Earth

1928, 1988

Earth Dragons are optimistic and proactive. More so than other Dragons, the Earth Dragon triumphs through endurance. They are loving and compassionate, and they consider themselves at least partially responsible for making the world a better place, which could prove too burdensome. Living your own purpose, Earth Dragons, is the best you can offer to the world.

Lucky Things for Dragons

Chinese zodiac Dragons are governed by the element of earth. Therefore, colors, numbers, directions, and timing that are associated with the earth element are lucky for them, while those associated with wood are riskier for Dragons. You can find a list of lucky and unlucky things for the Dragon below.

Lucky Things

  • Lucky numbers: 6, 8

  • Lucky colors: Cyan Blue, Purple

  • Lucky directions: West, Northeast

  • Lucky flowers: Bamboo, Cyclamen

Things to Avoid

  • Unlucky numbers: 4, 9

  • Unlucky colors: Black, Red

  • Unlucky directions: East, Northwest

  • Other unlucky items and things to be avoided: Dog-shaped charms, keeping a pet dog.

Compatibility: Best and Worst Matches for Dragon

Each zodiac sign has its best and worst matches, according to complex calculations involving the five elements system and the characteristics of the signs.

The Dragon is an independent creature, which makes them, at times, less inclined to look for a romantic partner. Nonetheless, the Dragon’s powerful and confident demeanor attracts others to them.

The Rat, the Monkey, and the Rooster are the Dragon’s best matches, as well as the zodiac signs most likely to catch the Dragon’s attention. All three pairings can create happy unions characterized by love, common interest, and joy.

The Dog and the Rabbit are the worst matches for the Dragon. The Dog tends to undermine the Dragon, while the Dragon can turn into a bully with the sweet-natured Rabbit.

Most Compatible: Rat, Monkey, and Rooster

The best zodiac matches for the Dragon are the Rat, the Monkey, and the Rooster. While each is different from the Dragon in its own way (there’s no one quite as unique as the Dragon, after all), these three zodiac signs complement the Dragon perfectly.

The Rat seems inconspicuous next to the mighty Dragon, but it turns out they’re precisely what the Dragon needs in a partner. The Rat trusts the Dragon unconditionally and leaves the latter plenty of space to realize their grandest dreams. On the other hand, the Rat feels safe and protected by the Dragon, which gives them a chance to thrive.

The Monkey is as logical as the Dragon, yet it’s clever and romantic to boot. While the Dragon often forgets to pause and smell the roses on their grand pursuits, the Monkey takes great pleasure in the small joys in life. They remind the Dragon that the journey is more important than the destination, which the Dragon truly appreciates.

It’s refreshing for the Dragon to find someone as independent as themselves in the Rooster. Both are capable, yet the Rooster is an excellent communicator who never allows any disagreement the time to fester. In some way, the Rooster is like a phoenix, the other mythical creature in Chinese culture, and a true complement to the Dragon.

Least Compatible: Dog, Rabbit

Not everyone can handle the Dragon because as powerful as the Dragon is, they can be hard to live with. The Dog subtracts, rather than adds to the Dragon’s life, while the Rabbit ends up cowering to the Dragon’s domineering personality, making both bad matches for the Dragon.

The Dragon is usually principled and by the book, while the Dog is wily and will sometimes resort to tactics in the gray zone. The Dragon frowns upon that and, in the best-case scenario, can extract themselves from this union before the Dog’s choices come to affect the Dragon’s life, too. These two just don’t seem to walk the same path!

Most see the Dragon as a protective soul, but not the Rabbit. For some reason, the Rabbit finds the Dragon too intimidating and will often feel under scrutiny. This leads the Dragon to act in precisely this way, wondering if the Rabbit partner has done something wrong. No one should have to live under another’s thumb, not even if that thumb belongs to the mighty Dragon.

Best Jobs and Careers for Dragon

Careers that require a high-level oversight are perfect for the Dragon, as they excel at big-picture decisions. Architecture and design are both good choices. In addition, the Dragon’s honorable nature makes them perfect candidates for law enforcement, the military, and even politics.

Dragons would never shy away from a good fight, especially one that aligns with their morals and beliefs. For that reason, no one is better suited to work in the military and law enforcement. They won’t hesitate to pour their life’s work into making this world a better place. The same applies to politics, although the upright Dragon can find some aspects of this career unsavory.

The Dragon is also fiercely independent and creative. Doing something just for a paycheck is against their nature. Architecture and other types of design give Dragons the freedom they need to express their grand and unique visions in life while also allowing them the independence that they prefer.

Health and Lifestyle Advice

Dragons can’t be bothered with details at times, which could lead to small discomforts left unchecked for too long. Make a habit of taking care of your body, mental health, and soul, Dragon, so that you can be healthy enough to give your all to working towards your goals, which will benefit the whole world, right?

While the Dragon doesn’t care about money, they still prefer an elegant and orderly life. That takes money, which the Dragon sometimes forgets. Therefore, they’re advised to work, save, and invest with prudence so that a lack of funds doesn’t detract from the more important goals they have.

Dragon and the 12 Zodiac Animals (Origin Story)

Most of the animals among the Chinese zodiac signs are ordinary creatures that we’ve all seen. But the Dragon is a revered mythical creature, one that should have rightfully been No. 1, ahead of the more ordinary zodiac animals. Why did the Dragon only place fifth?

The story that explains the order is legendary in China. The Jade Emperor, who is emperor of the heavens, ordered a race across the celestial river to determine the zodiac signs. The Dragon could have won in a split second with its mythical power, but on the way to the race, the Dragon saw a village suffering a drought.

The Jade Emperor had given the Dragon responsibility of producing rain before, which the Dragon thought was more important than any race. By the time the Dragon had given the village the rain, it could only take fifth place, but what an honorable loss!

Famous People Born in the Year of the Dragon

The Dragon is born to be admired, so it’s not surprising that many famous people were born in the Dragon year. Here’s a list of famous Dragons.

  • Joan of Arc

  • Julius Caesar

  • Jeff Bezos

  • Boris Johnson

  • Abraham Lincoln

  • Vladimir Putin

  • Bruce Lee

  • Charles Darwin

  • Rihanna

  • John Lennon

  • Shakira

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