Two Twos for the Revival of Spring

The 2nd day of the 2nd month (Two Twos) of the Lunar Calendar marks the day of "龍抬頭"—which literally means "The Dragon raises its head." In English, the holiday is known as the Blue Dragon Festival. In Chinese mythology, dragons are celestial beings that are tasked with managing weather with precipitation (whether the gentle mists, life-giving rains, intimidating storms, horrifying typhoons, or devastating tsunamis). Such is the blessing—or curse—of the Dragon.

"The Dragon raises its head" is a phrase that means the dragon's dormant hibernation has reached its end and the magnificent beast rears its head to usher in the vital rains once again. This can also be seen from the position of the constellations in the night sky of early spring. This time in the lunar calendar marks the turning of spring and the bringing of rains to the lands. Its significance dates back to the era before the Zhou dynasty (周朝), and since China was a society based on agriculture in these early days this auspicious event marks the beginning of farming in the new year and ushers in great celebration. The soil is now soft enough to seed and the hardship of winter is over once again.

This tradition is usually carried out in the northern parts of China (since the southern parts are blessed with much milder winters and an abundance of water and humidity). Since the North has less sources of surface water and agricultural activities can't happen without them, the Blue Dragon Festival was created as a way to remind the locals of the coming rains and to rejoice in this most auspicious day and see their worries wash away in the gentle rains from the heavens.

March of 2016 is an entire month bestowed with Yin Metal from the Celestial Stems and Yin Wood from the Earthly Branches. In and of itself, it is a month of entanglement and clarity all in the same; a tumultuous, jarring energy that juxtaposes many in its wake. On the day of the Blue Dragon Festival, Yin Metal is further superimposed as well as Yin Wood once more. This only increases the tendencies of March two-fold. It is a powerful day, with a tug-of- war type of energetic disposition.

The Yang Fire Stem of 2016 is already poised to melt the Yang Metal (Monkey zodiac). The monkey is composed of Yang Water, Yang Metal, and Yang Earth. The tendency of this combination is to enforce Water, which clashes head-on with the Fire of the year so impassioned with melting the Metal contained within. It also fortifies Metal to withstand the heat a bit more. However, with the Yin Metal and Wood of March 10 th so prominent, these elements are able to circumvent the direct effects of the Yang elements in the year Stem and Branch and inadvertently fuels the Fire significantly—adding to the already tense disposition of this month. This is definitely not a subtle coming of Spring for the record books!