Image Source: Water Dragon Inc.
Today is the Chinese New Year, calculated through the lunisolar calendar. Hence it is also known technically as the Lunar New Year, celebrated as well in other cultures. In the Chinese astrological tradition, this is the year of the Water Dragon, and the beginning of the Chinese Spring Festival. According to this site, a Water Dragon year, last experienced in 1952, is one where conformity and authority can be challenged and innovation encouraged. The watery aspect is a positive one, and calms the dragon's showy enthusiasm and gives the expansive fire a measure of introspection and contemplation.
As for Chinese astrological parallels with the past - what happened in 1952?
In January of that year, there were riots in Cairo and many downtown landmarks were burned in anti-British protests. The 750 buildings that were destroyed or damaged included the Opera House. These buildings were associated with Europeans. The country exploded in a nationalist, anti-imperialist revolution on July 23, overthrew King Farouk, and kicked out the British occupation, which had been there since 1882. Within a year, Egypt became a republic and Sudan became independent. The major strategic concern was the Suez Canal, which fell under Egyptian control.
The French were at war in Vietnam in the First Indochina War, which culminated in the Battle of Nà Sản.
There was a communist campaign to suppress nationalist guerrillas and bandits in southern China. There was also an Islamic insurgency in China. Supported by the nationalist Kuomintang and the CIA, Chinese Muslim insurgents operated out of Tibet to counter the spread of communism in China.
The University of Tennessee admitted its first African-American student.
Ernest Hemingway published The Old Man in the Sea. This seems a pretty fitting work of literature for a Water Dragon year! You can read the full text of the story for free, here. For rare pictures of Hemingway in Cuba go here. The fisherman who inspired him died in 2002.
Sony, a new Japanese company, introduced the first pocket-sized transistor radio.
Elizabeth became Queen of the UK and Commonwealth through a trick of fate. Her accession made the Brits hope that things would get, um, better. Time voted the young queen Person of the Year,
A list of 1952 events is here. Perhaps the wheel will turn full circle and that omen for a great future will be fulfilled in 2012. There is also a New Moon in the sign of Aquarius today, which stresses new beginnings, while wrapping up older concerns."finding that her significance was that 'of a fresh young blossom on roots that had weathered many a season of wintry doubt. The British, as weary and discouraged as the rest of the world in 1952, saw in their new young Queen a reminder of a great past... and dared to hope that she might be an omen of a great future.'"