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Chinese people are preparing to say good-bye to the Year of the Rabbit and welcome the Year of the Dragon. It's considered particularly lucky to be born in a Dragon year - so for a lot of parents-to-be, it's going to be an exciting 2012.
Spring Festival is coming. Like many Chinese couples, Li Jie and her husband are shopping for what many consider as the most important festival of the year. However, this year her shopping list is very different from the past because their baby is due in 4 months, and the child will be born in the Year of the Dragon. Li Jie is already picturing what her baby will look like.
Li Jie said, "This little dragon must be a naughty one. He's playing with his own tail."
The dragon is considered an auspicious animal in Chinese culture. In ancient times, people believed that a child born in a Dragon Year would be blessed with fortune and power. And the dragon still holds a certain fascination nowadays. Li Jie and her husband are full of excitement and anticipation.
Li Jie said, "We have been thinking of a name for the child. We've even thought of English names. We will call him Allen if he is a boy and Emily for a girl. My biggest wish is that my baby will be a happy and healthy child."
But having a baby is not the matter of one single family. The "dragon" baby rush is putting a lot of pressure on the hospitals.
Han Shuxia, head nurse of Shi Ji Tan Hospital, said, "Soon it will be the Year of the Dragon. We're receiving many more expectant mothers than before. They all hope for a healthy dragon baby. Our hospital will do everything we can to take care of every mother."
In fact, people find good characteristics not only in the dragon, but also in all 12 animals symbolizing each Chinese zodiac. They all represent people's wish for a prosperous new year. For the parents, their greatest hope is that every child can grow up with love and happiness.