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Chinese New Year: The year of the dragon

Chinese New Year: The year of the dragon

Dragon farming has its place in pop culture

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Feb. 10 marks the Chinese New Year, with 2024 being the year of the dragon.

People born in dragon years (1964, 1976, 1988, 2000 and 2012, for example), are believed to show similar qualities to a dragon. These include ambition, confidence, and charisma. But they may also be arrogant and irritable, “which may make them reluctant to accept defeat,” The University of Sydney says.

Celebrities born dragon years include George Strait, John Lennon, Sandra Bullock and Raquel Welch.

While actual dragon farming is a segment of the ag industry that isn’t available to producers (yet), other references exist of characters raising dragons or farmers worshipping these creatures.

In Chinese mythology, for example, green dragons are thought to have power over new life and nature.

Farmers would pray for green dragons to bring them rain and good harvests.

There’s also the online game, RuneScape.

This role-playing game sees players travel to different kingdoms, complete quests and battle other players. Players can also raise dragons.

The dragons are considered livestock, and players can keep them in a large pen with enough space for three dragons, or a breeding pen that fits four.

Dragons inside their pens can produce dragon manure, which players use to make “ultracompost,” which is “the most potent version of compost…,” an online forum says.

Royal dragon
Royal dragon from RuneScape

Any dragon eggs that emerge from a breeding pen must be kept in a pen for it to hatch. A royal dragon egg, for example, takes almost 17 hours to hatch.

Players can also assign traits to their dragons, which can affect the selling price in beans to perspective buyers.

Author Caren Hahn writes about a dragon farmer in her three-part Hatched series.

In book one, titled Dragon Farmer, a dragon farmer named Charl, who comes from a family of dragon farmers, lives in a world where dragon breeding is strictly regulated, and breeding dragons without a license is prohibited.

But she finds a fertilized egg, and the people in charge of enforcing the law show up at her farm.

In another book series, The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, a farm boy named Eragon from the village of Carvahall finds a dragon egg in the mountains in the first book of the series, titled Eragon.

The evil King Galbatorix finds out about the egg, which Eragon has been raising in secret, and wants it for himself.

And in the children’s book, Raising Dragons by Jerdine Nolen, a young girl living on her parents’ farm discovers a large egg inside a cave, which hatches with a dragon inside.

Raising Dragons

The girl raised the dragon she named Hank, despite her parents worrying about the fire-breathing dragon and the dangers he posed to their crops.

When the farmers couldn’t sell all their corn, Hank came up with a plan.

He used his sharp claws to dig a trench around the corn and breath fire onto it, making dragon-popped popcorn, which the family sold for profit.

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