In our last online web poll, we asked readers what they reckoned the year of the dragon would have in store for China.
To ensure the accuracy of our predictions, we consulted an old copy of the Reader’s Digest that happened to feature an in-depth study of Chinese astrology, which turns out to be similar to the ratings methodology for structured finance transactions, circa 2006 — basically, make up some assumptions and extract the answers you desire.
Armed with this information, as well as a list of dragons that are commonly found in Chinese mythology, we selected four predictions that could fit the bill and matched them to likely dragons — and, yes, in some cases we supposed the existence of dragons that have not yet been recorded to exist, even on Wikipedia. (However, contrary to some of the correspondence we have received, these are not made-up dragons; they are simply predictions that have yet to come true.)
The results were much as we expected, needless to say. Overall, our readers are mildly optimistic about the outlook during the current lunar cycle, predicting that China’s fortunes will be characterised by either the hidden-treasure dragon or the coiled dragon, heralding a year in which China will either discover hidden growth or else suffer a fairly uneventful year.
That is good news, according to some astrologists, as dragon years can often be tumultuous; a theory that seems to be based almost entirely on the observation that Mao Zedong died in 1976, a dragon year — and a fire dragon at that. (Chinese astrology follows a 60-year cycle as the 12 signs of the zodiac move through the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water, with this year being a water dragon.)
However, many other significant events happened outside of dragon years: China’s accession to the WTO in 2001, the handover of Hong Kong in 1997, Tiananmen Square in 1989, the start of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms in 1979, the onslaught of the Cultural Revolution in 1966, and so on. In other words, there is good precedence for uneventful dragon years (not to mention bad astrology).
And our readers seem to agree, giving a low probability to the appearance of the more temperamental dragons we selected: the people’s dragon, which is an indicator of political reforms, and the demon dragon, which is clearly an omen of war.
Kung hei fat choi