Year of the Dragon 龙
In February 2024, we entered the Year of the Dragon. The dragon can be found in all cultures, but each civilisation portrays it differently
Year of the Dragon 龙

Year of the Dragon 龙

Graphic: iStock
19/02/2024 19:58

Levente Horváth, Ph.D.,
Director of the Eurasia Center,
Editor-in-Chief of Eurasia

In February 2024, we entered the Year of the Dragon. The dragon can be found in all cultures, but each civilisation portrays it differently. In the Western world, it usually symbolises the embodiment of evil. In Christianity, for example, St George slays the dragon, and in many children's stories the dragon holds a princess captive who must be rescued by a heroic knight who must defeat the evil monster. In China and other Asian countries, however, the dragon is a benevolent, highly respected, sacred animal. In China, they can be seen on the facades of historic buildings, but also at the entrances to modern skyscrapers, thousands of years old and modern handicrafts, in Chinese literature and in everyday life, from dragon dancing to dragon boat races, which are becoming increasingly popular in the West. According to Chinese legend, the Chinese are the descendants of the dragon (龙的传人), but many other legends and ancient knowledge are also associated with the dragon. For example, the Book of Changes, in which the dragon figure appears several times.
Levente Horváth

For the reasons mentioned above, an initiative has already been launched to translate the character "龙" as "loong" instead of "dragon", as dragon means the evil Western creature, while "loong" is the Chinese sacred dragon.

In any case, we have entered the Year of the Dragon in February 2024. I cannot predict what this year will bring for China, I am not an astrologer, but based on the development of the past years and decades, it is safe to say that China will continue to be at the forefront of the global economic race.

In the Year of the Dragon, there are many important events for China, which will be of great significance not only for China, but for the whole world and the fracturing world order:

  • China will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
  • In the Year of the Dragon 60 years ago, China successfully tested the atomic bomb, becoming the fifth nuclear superpower and an even more important player on the global political stage. By the 60th anniversary, the country had become a leading superpower.
  • 12 years ago, also in the Year of the Dragon, Xi Jinping was elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. In 1976, the Year of the Dragon, Mao Zedong died and Deng Xiaoping took over the leadership in his own right, which led to the introduction of the reform and opening-up policy in 1978. Li Peng became Premier in the Year of the Dragon in 1988.
  • 2024 is an election year with elections in the United States, Russia, the European Union and many other countries that will have a major impact on relations with China. This could influence and deepen the already turbulent transformation of the world order.

Many of the Dragon Years in China's history have brought major changes to the country, and this year is likely to bring major changes in international politics in addition to important anniversaries for China.

In any case, Eurasia magazine will continue to keep you updated on global trends, geopolitical changes and economic and technological developments.

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