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Lunar New Year 2024: Dos and don’ts for the Year of the Dragon

By Celia Lee 19 January 2024

Header image courtesy of Sandy Millar (via Unsplash)

We trust you are well-rested from your celebrations, because another big festive season is on the horizon! 10 February 2024 marks the start of Lunar New Year and the Year of the Dragon. Before you start planning what to do, eat, and where to shop, read on for our comprehensive list of dos and don’ts based on your Chinese zodiac sign for the Year of the Dragon.

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Photo: Wisnu Phaewchimplee (via Pexels)

Start the year with a fortune-telling

It is customary for people celebrating Lunar New Year to have their fortunes told at the start of the holidays. From the plethora of fortune-telling methods available, two of the most common practices are reading zodiac animals and reading kau cim (求籤; kau4 cim1; “asking for sticks”). A feng shui master (風水師父; fortune teller) typically reads the fortune of your zodiac animal or the inscribed stick you have shaken from the bamboo tube and offers interpretations of how your year will fare.

A popular example of reading zodiac animals in the new year can be found on TVB, the city’s major broadcasting station, where the festive season calls forth special programmes to celebrate the occasion, including zodiac animal readings by a renowned feng shui master. For reading kau cim fortunes, a member of the Hong Kong government usually represents the city and draws a fortune stick at Che Kung Temple in Sha Tin. The fortune of the city is then determined after a feng shui master interprets the fortune inscribed on the drawn stick.

Do’s and don’ts for the Year of the Dragon

As opposed to a comprehensive fortune guide that predicts the fates of everyone, the zodiac fortune-telling system allows the fortunes of people to be determined by their animal signs. Zodiac fortunes commonly tell you something about your career, relationships, and money status for the coming year. If you are unsure which of the 12 Chinese zodiac animal signs you are, simply Google your birth year to find out.

Photo: Oliver Needham (via Unsplash)

Dragon

Those born in the Year of the Dragon are going to fan tai shui (犯太歳; faan6 taai3 seui3; offending one’s spiritual planetary body) this year. While dragons have a relatively stable fortune ahead, your emotions will be the most affected by fan tai shui. Your mood will likely remain low, with bursts of pessimism, loneliness, and sadness, but there are a few things you can do to improve your fortune. As dragons are prone to injuries this year, they are encouraged to donate blood to symbolically release the blood that will be lost when they are hurt, thus avoiding the injury or opting for a less severe aftermath. 

The third lunar month is your fan tai shui month, which means you should pay extra attention to your mental well-being. Prioritise the things you love to do; for example, if you are an avid traveller, taking a holiday might improve your mood in significant ways.

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Snake

For those born in the Year of the Snake, we bear good news! This year is your peach blossom year (桃花年; tou4 faa1 nin4)—this means that your relationships, whether romantic, professional, or platonic, will be thriving. This could also mean career improvements, new relationships, or simply maintaining and strengthening existing ones. However, snakes should remain mindful of their actions and behaviour towards others, as minor disputes and arguments may still occur.

Horse

Those born in the Year of the Horse have a relatively stable fortune this year, ranking average on relationships, wealth, career, and studies. This stability might sometimes feel like stagnation, so it is important to avoid rash decisions. Patience is key for horses this year, as a small mistake might have long-lasting consequences for your fortune in the coming year.

Sheep

Those born in the Year of the Sheep have a relatively bad fortune this year. Your health is likely to suffer some hits, with sheep being particularly prone to stomach illnesses this year. You might also encounter difficulties in other aspects of your life, such as career and education. But don’t feel discouraged—enduring 2024 will bring better fortune for the future.

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Monkey

Those born in the Year of the Monkey will experience a gradual improvement of their fortune as the year progresses. This means you might have a rocky start to 2024 before things take a turn for the better. Monkeys should be aware of rumours and gossip that will render their relationships complicated, as they are prone to enter into minor conflicts and disputes.

Rooster

Those born in the Year of the Rooster have relatively good fortune this year, granted that they make it through a rocky start. January to April will pose difficulties to roosters, as the effects of negativity from the Year of the Rabbit will linger until after Ching Ming Festival. Expect a boost in your fortune from May onwards. While roosters might have a stable year, their families’ fortune are not as positive. Keep an eye out for elderly family members and watch out for any health or financial ailment. To avoid serious predicaments, small home renovations should do the trick.

Dog

Those born in the Year of the Dog will have a turbulent year, with many changes affecting relationships, housing, and career. While changes to housing will likely result in minor discomfort, changes to relationships and career are likely to be more consequential. You should also keep an eye on your finances, as you may lose money this year. To alleviate this misfortune, “lose” this money symbolically by spending it on something you want.

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Pig

Those born in the Year of the Pig will also enjoy a peach blossom year. For those who are single, you have the highest chance of meeting someone and starting a relationship; for those who have been dating, this might be the year you get married; for those who are married, this could mean an improvement in your romantic as well as professional, platonic, and familial relationships.

Rat

Those born in the Year of the Rat will have a relatively stable and fortunate year. While this is not your peach blossom year, your love life will nonetheless take a turn for the better, with a good chance of meeting new people or strengthening existing relationships. Rats will also find it easier to save money this year.

Ox

Those born in the Year of the Ox have generally stable fortune this year but should pay attention to their relationships. For those born in spring and summer, you might encounter minor disputes and arguments with partners, colleagues, friends, and families, while those born in autumn and winter might experience a career boost.

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Tiger

Those born in the Year of the Tiger will have great fortune in terms of wealth and career. This could mean a raise, a promotion, or general career growth. Tigers are also encouraged to take on opportunities to work abroad this year to widen options and space for expression, but should remain mindful of misfortunes and injuries during travels. For those born in spring or summer, your finances will experience a boost, while those born in autumn and winter will see minor improvements in their financial situation. 

Rabbit

Those born in the Year of the Rabbit have a generally stable fortune this year but should pay extra attention to health and wealth during the second and third lunar months. Rabbits are also prone to emotional swings at the beginning of the year and should try and keep their spirits up whenever possible. With a good wealth fortune, rabbits can be more opportunistic with their career and earning endeavours this year.

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Celia Lee

Staff writer

Born and raised in Hong Kong and educated in the UK, Celia is passionate about culture, food, and different happenings in the city. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her scouting for new and trendy restaurants, getting lost in a bookstore, or baking up a storm at home.

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