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SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT: The year of the Dragon... babies
Source : New Sunday Times
Date : 22 Jan 2012
by Tan Choe Choe and Shanti Gunaratnam

Already, news reports are pouring in that most of Asia, particularly in countries with strong Chinese diaspora populations, are expected to experience a baby boom this year.

A poll in Hong Kong showed that 70 per cent of couples there wanted children born under the Dragon sign, according to the Associated Press, while South Korea, Vietnam and China also report similar enthusiasm about giving birth in the Dragon year.

State news agency Xinhua reported in December that China was anticipating a five per cent increase in the number of babies this year.

Things are apparently no different in Malaysia - the waiting scene in obstetrics departments across hospitals and word-of-mouth tales from mothers-to-be indicate that many Malaysians are also gearing up for a Dragon baby.

Chinese metaphysics consultant Sherwin Ng agrees that many people are looking forward to having a Dragon baby.

"Most people, especially in Asia, believe the Dragon year to be the most powerful and fortunate year (astrological sign) and children born in the Dragon year will acquire such qualities where in fact the actual day, hour, and month of birth play more crucial roles in determining a person's qualities," said Ng, a senior consultant with the Joey Yap Consulting Group.

So, thinking that a Dragon-year baby is above the rest is a wide misconception.

"Because the year does not really describe one's personality and talents. All power and virtue has to be earned or developed at the right time under a person's full Bazi (astrological chart)."

The year of the Water Dragon will begin not on the first day of the Chinese New Year on Jan 23, but on Feb 4, the Lap Chun or first day of spring of the new year.

So, only babies born on or after Feb 4 will be under the Dragon sign.

Ng explained that the Dragon is the element of Earth and represents the storage of Water so "generally, it brings stability, wisdom and also endings and beginnings".

However, the coming year of the Water Dragon is a special Kui Gang (War General) star configuration, which also represents power, nobility and respect.

"But like it is for a war general, success typically comes only after fights, struggles and much strategising. Definitely not the easy life that many assume one born under this star would have."

As such, in terms of gender, it is generally regarded that a male is better suited to this astrological sign than a female, he added.

One couple who is hoping to have a Dragon baby this year is Patricia Tan and husband Chow Wei Ming.

"We've been married for two years and have been trying to conceive for over the past one year.

"It just seems right, although (to) actually get pregnant, that's a whole different story.

"The Dragon year seems like a good year. We've missed the bandwagon for the Rabbit year, and after listening to others about how auspicious the Dragon seems, we've decided to go full steam and aim for this year," said Tan.

It is too general to speculate which exact dates would be best to have a Dragon baby, as other factors like a parent's Bazi would have to be taken into consideration.

Ng said that the general rule of thumb is to avoid having a Dragon year baby in the month of the Dragon itself (April) and the month of the Dog (October).

"A Dragon-Dragon baby would be a self-punishment formation, which means that the child will likely develop bad habits and self-sabotaging behaviour.

"Meanwhile, a Dragon-Dog baby will be a clashing formation, which indicates hardship and challenges for the baby."

The influence of astrology and metaphysics is so strong that there is indication that some parents are even choosing to go Caesarean so they can select a good birthdate for their child.

On such practices, Ng neither condones nor condemns it, pointing out that it's a personal choice for parents.

"Bazi selection for the new baby can help assure good health or minimal illness for the child and help foster good communication. The selection of the Caesarean date has to complement the Bazi of the parents, too.

"And sometimes, a good Bazi of the child can also enhance the Bazi of the parent," Believing the same, Cherrie Tan, 31, definitely has no qualms about going ahead and choosing a date and time for her Caesarean birth that she was told will be beneficial for her child.

"I can't have a natural birth because my baby girl is too big.

"Since I have to go Caesarean no matter what, it is just convenient and also makes good sense to choose a time and date that will be good for the baby and us."

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