Get ready to welcome a powerful year of change and opportunity.

Enter the Dragon - YAM Magazine Colour Issue Jan/Feb 2024

If you’ve wondered what the heck’s been going on over the past 20 chaotic years, well, Sam Plovie knows — and she has good news for you. 

“2024 is not just a new year, it’s the beginning of a 20-year cycle,” explains Plovie, who is an expert in Chinese astrology, feng shui and other metaphysical arts. “We are going into the Year of the Dragon and, of the 12 signs, the dragon is the most forceful.” 

In the lunar calendar followed by millions of people the world over, February 10 marks the beginning of the Spring Festival, which lasts until February 24 and is a time to clear out the old and welcome the new. It also ushers in the astrological Year of the Dragon, in this case a Wood Dragon, who brings “power, assertiveness and a desire to reinvent ourselves, our lives, how we see things,” Plovie says. 

“The Dragon is going to come along and open everyone’s eyes,” she adds. “The Dragon is going to say, ‘If you open your mind to doing something new, I will help you … If you drag your heels, though, you will be stuck.’ ”

At the same time, 2024 marks a new cycle according to feng shui, which Plovie describes as “energy WiFi” for your space. Where the previous 20 years were represented by Gen, a young boy prone to tantrums (sound familiar?), the next two decades are all about Li,
the wise middle daughter. 

“The future is literally female,” says Plovie, who anticipates that it will be a period of enlightenment, awareness, spirituality and opportunity — if we prepare for it.

“In January, people should be clearing out everything they can. When the Dragon takes hold, it’s with purpose,” Plovie says. “Clear the decks right now because this year you can move forward without being held back by restraints. If your calendar is full, you can’t take advantage of the opportunities.” 

8 Lucky Ways to Celebrate the Lunar New Year

The Spring Festival is the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar and is marked by ancient traditions, symbols and delicious things to eat. Here are just a few.

Red Envelopes
It’s traditional to give lucky envelopes with money inside to transfer good fortune (and cash) to the recipient.

These citrus fruits look like gold and represent wealth and luck.

Lucky Words
Some people decorate walls, doors or windows with lucky words like “fu,” which means happiness and good fortune, written in calligraphy on red paper.

The closing event of New Year celebrations is the Lantern Festival, which brings peace, reconciliation and light.

A punning symbol for “extra” — as in, extra money and luck — fish is also an essential part of any New Year feast, best enjoyed whole and steamed. 

The longer the noodle, the longer your life, so never cut noodles in case you cut your luck. Combine with foods that have other symbolic values, such as shrimp (fortune and wealth), roast pork (peace) or tofu (happiness and fortune for the entire family).

Nian Gao
Also known as “rice cake” or “New Year cake,” these sticky glutinous treats are a must for Chinese New Year.

Anything Red 
This fiery symbol of joy, celebration, vitality, success and good fortune is the luckiest colour in Chinese culture and is generously used in clothes, décor and food.