Two dragons wound around a man Chinese horoscope is among the oldest in the world. It was created in China about 1000 BC and had its flourishing period owing to the development of astronomy and cosmology and popularity of Confucius’ teachings in the time of Han Dynasty. It is most popular in China and other countries of East Asia and – with the migrations of Asian inhabitants slowly makes its way also to Europe and USA. Its tradition reaches far in history and the legends about its origin vary.
Among most popular is the legend about Buddha who invited all animals to visit him (one version says this took place when he lay dying and the other that it happened on new year’s celebration) but only 12 animals paid him a visit in following order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, Serpent, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar. Buddha awarded their loyalty naming each year by one of the animals. Also today, the signs of Chinese zodiac follow the order of animals’ arrival, each of them ruling for one year (in difference to western astrology where the signs rule for one month each). Apart from on twelve signs Chinese horoscope is based also on five elements: wood, metal, water, fire and earth, as well as on two principles: yin and yang.
The combination of 12 signs and five elements results in a 60-months cycle. Each coming year has the characteristics and disadvantages of the sign and element that govern it. The Chinese New Year’ day is calculated according to the lunar calendar and falls in the end of January or in February and on 23 January 2012 we shall enter the Year of Dragon. The dragon is the luckiest sign of Chinese horoscope. In China the dragon has always symbolised power, justice, strength and wealth. The sign was used and worn by emperors and generals. Dragons are powerful friends and dangerous enemies, they bring happiness and immortality. The dragon can heal and chase off evil spirits. It is believed that the dragon can tame nature forces and adjust them to man. Within the fact lies also the big charisma of this mythic creature and people born in the year of the dragon. They are never ordinary; they are charming and give the feeling of safeness.
Title: Lunar year of Dragon – Croatia
Date of Issue: 4 January 2012
Denominations: 1,6 kn