Dragon year heralds Baby Boom
China anticipates a baby boom as the country enters its most auspiscious year on the Chinese Luna calendar.
The Dragon is the only mythical beast represented in the 12-animal Chinese Zodiac and is symbolic of power, dominance and ambition. It is considered the luckiest of the 12 animals.
China is bracing itself for a baby boom as birth rates are expected to double in some parts of China as parents rush to have a baby born in the Zodiac’s most auspicious year.
In 2000, the last Year of the Dragon, more than 36 million babies were born in China – twice as many as in 1999 and 2001.
The Dragon babies, despite their purported luck will face ongoing struggles from the day they are born – beginning with an anticipated shortage of maternity beds across the country to competing for placements at kindergarten, school and university.
China’s Chongqing Daily reported that nearly all of the city’s highly qualified child carers had been booked through to July. The nannies monthly salaries are set to increase 10 percent to almost 6000 per month.
Chinese state media also reported a surge in temple goers during the Chinese New Year period.
Chinese tradition stipulates good fortune to those who burn incense sticks on the first and 15th day of every lunar month, especially the first of the year.
Temple visits dramatically increase on these days. Beijing’s Tibetan Buddhist monastery Yonghegong (Lama Temple) received about 66,700 visitors on Jan 23, the eve of the Chinese New Year. ■