Watch out, here come the dragons! With the start of the Lunar New Year on Monday marking the start of the Year of the Dragon, many couples are making the extra effort to give birth to "dragon babies," The Wall Street Journal reports.
The demand for dragon babies is so high, China is expecting an increase in the birth rate this year based solely on the "auspicious zodiac sign in Chinese culture" linked to this time period, Time magazine reports.
In the Chinese culture, the Year of the Dragon is considered the luckiest of the lunar years—"particularly fortunate for babies, marriages and businesses," according to The Wall Street Journal article.
If you believe in this tradition, babies born as dragons are "the strongest, smartest and luckiest," a professor of Chinese literature and culture is quoted as saying in The Wall Street Journal article.
We asked our Fit Pregnancy Facebook users if they were planning a dragon baby, and we got an overwhelming response from readers whose little ones are due between now and the start of the next lunar year in February 2013 (the Year of the Snake). Many of them said they were excited to be Dragons themselves and to be having a baby born under the same year.
In addition to the old-fashioned way, The Wall Street Journal article cites that assisted-reproduction clinics in the U.S., China and elsewhere are reporting a surge in demand tied to the Year of the Dragon. "The Los Angeles-based Agency for Surrogacy Solutions and sister company Global IVF Inc. have seen a 250 percent increase in business from Chinese and Chinese-Americans so far in January," The Wall Street Journal reports.
In addition to luck, the Chinese lunar calendar is used by many people in predicting a baby's gender. Crib Notes reported on the increasing popularity of these moon calendars whose accuracy, researchers say, is at best 50/50. (But they're a lot of fun to use!)
Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.