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Scales and Tales

Reptile Gardens celebrates the Year of the Dragon

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Chinese Zodiac is a very spiritual and religious commitment for the people who believe in it. The way the stars align for an individual with this belief can help explain a lot about their outlook on life.

The Chinese calendar is broken up into twelve different animal years. For example, there is the year of the: Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, etc. Each animal year has a specific date range. The Year of the Dragon began Jan. 23, 2012 and ends on Feb. 9, 2013. During this time there is a general feeling of optimism.

Dragons are seen as auspicious, or, lucky. The staff members at Reptile Gardens hope that this intangible "luck" will translate into a great year for business, and as Reptiles Gardens CEO, Joe Maierhauser explains, things are heading in the right direction.

"This year we have already experienced a lot of neat things including bronze casting of Methuselah which will be dedicated on July 10—exactly one year after our giant tortoise died."

Going hand-in-hand with the statue casting is the mayor's proclamation of "Go Slow for a Day" which his also being held in memory of the late Methuselah.

As a reptile zoo, Reptile Gardens take consideration into how the history of our different species is incorporated into other cultures.

In Chinese culture the dragon symbolizes dominance and ambition. It is the mightiest of all the signs.

Depending on when your birthday falls you with many implications that speak about a person's character.

The Year of the Dragon is a period of optimism.

The Chinese calendar is marked by twelve different animal years.

Unlike the American calendar which is incremented by twelve different months. However, instead of months, the Chinese calendar refers to each month by a different animal name.

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