archived 02-05-00
Archive file# o020500a

Year Of The Dragon (Lizard?)
Expect Momentous Events In China

Sources: Jeff Rense Sightings

The arrival of the Year of the Dragon on Saturday should have China and the world on tenterhooks as astrologers warn it could bring momentous or cataclysmic changes.

"The year will be marked by huge events, especially in China," said Gu Changwen, a monk from Mount Wutai in the northern province of Shanxi which is one of Buddhism's holiest shrines.

"It is an auspicious year for the Chinese. The country will continue to develop and people will grow richer."


The dragon is considered the most prestigious of the 12 signs of the horoscope and it can often fuel a baby boom as couples try to bring their child a life of luck.

But Gu warned: "If he becomes angry it can lead to huge flooding as he rules over the waters."

He said the rest of the world could also be in for some major changes as it leaves the Year of the Rabbit behind, refusing to rule out new wars and natural disasters.


The Communist Party has tried hard to eradicate superstition during its 50 years in power, but nevertheless belief in traditional astrology remains deeply embedded in Chinese culture.

Many Chinese have been preparing feverishly to celebrate the coming of the dragon, which this year will combine with metal -- one of the five elements in Chinese astrology along with wood, fire, water and earth.

Not withstanding China's one-child policy, millions of Chinese are expected to try to take advantage of the extreme good fortune brought by the dragon and the figure 2,000.

The Lunar New Year calendar has been observed in China since time immemorial, and each year the calendar moves through a different sign of the zodiac -- repeating itself every 12 years.

The dragon is the only imaginary animal among the list of 12 beasts called on by Buddha to populate the earth. The cycle is rat, bull, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

"The dragon is the ultimate power. It can stand up to any of the animals because it contains the powers of several elements -- the body of a snake, the scales of a fish, the feet of a rooster and the horns of a stag," said the monk.


The year of the dragon has a history of causing massive upheavals in China.


"The dragon is the very incarnation of China," said Gu, pointing out that the first emperor Qin Shihuangdi (221-207 BC) made the dragon a symbol of his power.

"Remember 1976," said amateur astrologer Diao Ming, referring to the year 24 years ago when "three stars were extinguished".

He was referring to three of the founders of the Communist revolution in China in 1949. Mao Zedong, Prime Minister Zhou Enlai and Marshal Zhu De all died in 1976.

The event triggered the fall of the "Gang of Four" in power in Beijing and the end of the Maoist Cultural Revolution which left between two and five million people dead.

In 1976 China was also hit by the massive earthquake in the northern city of Tangshan which left at least 240,000 people dead.

The cataclysmic events of 1976 ultimately brought to power Deng Xiaoping, himself born in a Year of the Dragon, and set the country on the road towards free market reform.

Each year is heavy with risk for those under whose star sign it falls, and many Chinese wear a red belt during the year of their animal to keep them attached to the earth and prevent their death.

China's number two, parliamentary leader Li Peng, and number three, Prime Minister Zhu Rongji, are dragons born in 1928. The political rivals would do well to watch their step in the coming year. ((c) 2000 Agence France Presse)

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