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Will You Have a Dragon Baby?

By Tracey Minella

January 23rd, 2012 at 4:53 pm


You don’t have to be Chinese to appreciate the richness of that culture’s traditions and the mystique of the Chinese methods of enhancing fertility.

Today is the celebration of Chinese New Year. Out with the Year of the Rabbit. Welcome the Year of the Dragon.

The rabbit was to be a peaceful year. Children born in the Year of the Rabbit are said to be among other things sweet, sensitive, obedient, observant, clever, resilient and well-liked. How wonderful! Why would it be nice to see that year end?

Because the Year of the Dragon…well, that’s the biggest deal of all. It is considered to be THE luckiest year of the entire Chinese Zodiac and the most coveted year to have a child! And it only comes around every 12 years, so it’s a pretty big deal.

If you’d like to read about the extremes some people are going to just to ensure they conceive a dragon baby, check out this link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203806504577177011519558088.html

But be forewarned, it could upset you, especially if you believe that having a baby any day of any year is all that really matters.

The Chinese zodiac consists of a cycle of 12 years, with each year being named for a different animal, and supposedly bestowing upon those born in that year certain characteristics which are similar to the traits of the featured animal.

In the early years of my own fertility battle, I worked with Mai, a friendly Chinese girl, in law firm near Chinatown. Whenever she spoke of her family’s traditions, I listened in fascination…especially whenever anything related to good luck or fertility came up. I figured so what if I’m Italian and Irish. I want a baby and I’ll try anything!

So now I can share some of Mai’s wisdom with all those trying to conceive at this enchanting time in the Chinese calendar.

On New Year’s Eve, the Chinese often celebrate by eating dumplings called “jiaozi”, which translates literally to “sleep together and have sons” according to http://www.theholidayspot.com. Mai was adept at making these challenging dumplings. I, however, was inept.  So, I’d improvise and order wonton soup instead. (No wonder it took me so long to conceive…)

Then, sweep out the house from top to bottom with a broom and give it a good cleaning. It symbolizes the sweeping away of all the bad luck of the past year so the good luck can enter. I do this religiously every single year. It feels authentic. You must try it.

On New Year’s Day, wear something red. It’s the color of good luck and symbolic of wealth. Mai’s older relatives used to give her and her siblings red envelopes with money inside on Chinese New Year. Maybe you can break out a red envelope, start a new tradition, and get your relatives to contribute to the IVF fund. Wish I’d thought of that one sooner.

Put away the knives…this is good advice for hormonal women anyway. Using knives and scissors at this time symbolizes the “cutting off” of the good luck and is an omen of bad luck in the year to come. Remember this one at mealtime.

My point is that you don’t have to be Chinese to embrace some of the Chinese culture

and have some fun. Wear red. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making a batch of jiaozi from an internet recipe. Or do the wonton soup thing. (I still do to this day!) Try your hand at chopsticks. Surround yourself with the richness of red and gold. Sweep out that old bad luck and embrace the peaceful year that waits.

Do you celebrate Chinese New Year or follow any other cultural traditions with fertility-related traditions? What do you think about the actions of those in the article?

Photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=5572&picture=dragons-head

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