Today marked the start of the new year in the Chinese lunar calendar, beginning the Year of the Dragon. The dragon, believed to be especially lucky, is the only one of the zodiac’s 12 animals that is a mythical creature. Due to the dragon’s luck cachet in China, news agencies like Xinhua are predicting that many couples across Asia will put in an extra effort to give birth to “dragon babies.”
Time Magazine reports that the dragon is often associated in Chinese culture with good fortune, intelligence, and a sign attached directly to success. The last dragon year was, of course, 2000, when Hong Kong saw a 5% increase in births. CBS reports that a recent poll conducted in Hong Kong revealed 70% of couples desired dragon babies. This news comes with some alarm, as China, a country with a population of 1.3 billion and a one-child policy, already created a hotbed of competition for parents who want to put their children into elite schools. The dragon baby boom comes as potential good news, however, to countries like Taiwan, which have one of the world’s lowest birth rates.
Time goes on to name a few famed ‘dragon babies’…Bruce Lee, Spanish artist Salvador Dali, and President Bill Clinton.