Lunar New Year 2024: The year of the wood dragon

Feb. 10 marks the beginning of Lunar New Year (often referred to as Chinese New Year), so get your red envelopes ready. 

How long does Lunar New Year last? 

The Lunar New Year celebrates the beginning of the lunar calendar, and that typically falls between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20, according to The University of Sydney. 

Lunar New Year begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends 15 days later on the first full moon of that calendar.


Fireworks illuminate the city's skyline during BOCHK Hong Kong New Year countdown celebrations of 2017 on January 1, 2017 in Hong Kong. (Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

2024 is the year of the wood dragon

Every Lunar New Year holds a special meaning based on an animal from the Chinese zodiac and an accompanying element (wood, fire, earth, water, metal). 

The Chinese zodiac consists of 12 different animals, which include the rat, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, ox, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. 

This year, 2024, is the year of the wood dragon. (Which isn’t technically an animal but we’ll allow it because it’s so cool.)


People visit a dragon lantern decoration with energy-saving LED lights ahead of the lunar new year at the Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen temple in Jenjarom, some 50 kilometres southwest of Kuala Lumpur on January 26, 2024. (Photo by Mohd RASFAN / AFP) (Photo

Wood dragon meaning

The year of the wood dragon will potentially bring good luck, particularly for people who intend to start a business or are developing their careers. 

Wood dragons tend to be intelligent, attractive and are universally liked, according to

They usually have a good sense of timing and strike success fairly easily. 

Lucky colors for the year of the dragon

Based on Chinese astrology, every zodiac sign is associated with a lucky color and, if integrated into an individual’s life, can bring prosperity and good fortune, according to The University of Sydney. 


Chinese folk artists perform the lion dance at a temple fair to celebrate the Lunar New Year of Dragon on January 22, 2012 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

For those who were born in the year of the dragon, which is the fifth animal of the 12-year cycle, gold is your lucky color. 

Yellow, like gold, is also considered lucky. The color is linked to wealth and money for dragons, so be sure to wear yellow and put up yellow and gold decorations in your home. 

Another lucky color for those born in the year of the dragon is blue.

Famous people born in the year of the dragon

  • Michelle Obama: Jan. 17, 1964
  • Rihanna: Feb. 20, 1988
  • Adele: May 5, 1988
  • Martin Luther King Jr.: Jan. 15, 1929
  • Bruce Lee: Nov. 27, 1940
  • Vladimir Putin: Oct. 7, 1952

What are those red envelopes? 

Red envelopes filled with money are traditionally handed out to children, family, friends and even employees as a symbol of good luck while entering the new year, according to USA Today. 

Red is associated with good energy, good luck and happiness, hence the red envelopes. 


Red envelope ( hongbao ) on yellow tree for Chinese and Vietnamese New Year. Red color is a symbol of good luck. France. (Photo by: Philippe Lissac/Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Lunar New Year traditions

It’s estimated that two billion people around the globe celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year, which is also known as Chunjie – the "Lunar New Year" or "Spring Festival" when translated to English. 

In China, many families thoroughly clean their homes days before the Chinese Lunar New Year begins. This is usually done to rid homes of bad luck, according to Britannica. Food, trinkets and paper offerings are also extended to ancestors or deities, including whole chickens, fruit, tea, sculptures, incense and candles.

Other celebration rituals include hanging lucky scroll messages, setting off firecrackers or fireworks, eating long noodles and dumplings with symbolic meanings and exchanging cash gifts..

Neighboring countries in Asia have developed their own Lunar New Year celebrations that were influenced by the ancient Chinese calendar, including Vietnam (aka "Tet"), Tibet (aka "Losar") and North Korea and South Korea (aka "Seollal").

Japan is one of the rare exceptions that celebrates the new year according to the Gregorian calendar, on Jan 1.

FOX News and FOX Weather contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.