The Year of the Dragon Lady
This is my year — the year of the Dragon. In the Chinese and Mongolian calendars, the dragon is one of the 12-year cycle of animals. It is the only one of them to be considered ‘legendary’ and is the luckiest year in the Chinese zodiac. The joke I’ve had with other women born the same year is that we are the REAL DRAGON LADIES! (If you do an image search in Google on “Dragon Lady” you will get hundreds of images of women I wish I looked like!)
There were five famous Chinese dragon ladies in history:
1) Empress Lu of Han dynasty: an iron lady who helped her husband Liu Bang in his rise to power;
2) Wu Zetian: equally similar as a dragon lady to Lu, but less bloodthirsty;
3) Empress Dowager Cixi: no more ruthless than other rulers and effective reformer in the last years of her life;
4) Soong Meiling: a star on the international political stage who captured global attention throughout much of the century and impacted both the Eastern and Western world;
5) Jiang Qing: named the “great flag-carrier of the proletarian culture,” she was most well known for playing a major role in the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) and for forming the radical political alliance known as the “Gang of Four.”
Not a bad act to follow, right? And no wonder that Dragon Ladies have a reputation for being so tough. Women called “Dragon Lady” by the press, but not born in the Year of the Dragon include Hillary Rodham Clinton and Yoko Ono. Those who can really claim the title include Florence Nightingale and Grace Kelly…and lets not forget “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
The zodiac says we share certain characteristics, some of which I like and others not be so proud of, but could all of us born every 12 years actually share them? It is said that the dragon sign is tempered by five elements overlaying a five-year cycle of characteristics: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. The year I was born and 2012 share the Water Dragon, which according to the Chinese Zodiac, has a “calming effect on the Dragon’s fearless temperament.” Maybe that’s why Nice has been on my horizons.
The Year of the Dragon began this past Monday and with Paris’ large Chinese community, it’s an important and well-celebrated event. Red lanterns have sprung up all over Le Marais — which is one of the several districts with a large community and quite proud of its Chinese residents. For the 12th consecutive year, the Mairie of the 3rd arrondissement is sponsoring a variety of events culminating with the annual parade on Saturday, January 28th beginning at the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville at 2:30 p.m. and finding it’s way up rues du Temple, Turbigo, along Place des Arts et Métiers, then down rues Beaubourg, Renard and back to Place de l’Hôtel de Ville. (For more information about the events of the 3rd, visit Mairie of the 3rd arrondissement)
This particular Dragon Lady is not going to miss it! You are welcome to join me — my favorite spot is at the corner of rue du Temple and rue de Rivoli in front of the BHV where the parade begins.
Happy Year of the Dragon!
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. HOT OFF THE PRESS! FOR SALE!: one-half of a December-January share in the luxury fractional ownership property Villa Monceau!…one-bedroom, 58 square meters, located in the elegant 17th arrondissement. When you purchase one month from the current owner, you have the amazing flexibility to share the usage over both December and January with a partner shareholder. Stay tuned for more information, and photos tomorrow in French Property Insider – if you don’t already receive this weekly e-zine, subscribe now! Or email me at [email protected]