Vietnamese Love the Dragon but Year of Snake? ‘Bad, Very Bad’

Times Staff Writer

Dr. Co Long Pham, a surgeon in obstetrics and gynecology in Fountain Valley, is one doctor who is glad to see the Year of the Dragon draw to a close.

“I’ve never delivered as many babies as I have during the last year. It seems that everyone wanted their child to be born during Year of the Dragon.”

And why not?

Being born during the Year of the Dragon means a life of wealth, happiness and prosperity, according to Vietnamese refugees. Vietnamese businessmen fight to have dragon dancers perform near the front door of their store.


It is not the same with the Year of the Snake, which officially arrives Feb. 6.

“Year of Snake--oh, bad, very bad,” said businessman Tony Lam. “In our culture, it means you (are) born ugly.”

But people born in the Year of the Snake enjoy some positive attributes, according to other Asian cultures. They are people who were born in the years 1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965 and 1977. And, of course, 1989.

Snake people are calm, wise, intense and secretive. According to popular belief, snakes are creatures vested with eternity. In the Japanese language, the expression “to shed snake’s skin” means to start a new life.

The Japanese believe that people born in the Year of the Snake will be very lucky. Men born that year are believed to be sentimental, while women are beautiful.

Snake people love great beauty and passion, and excel in planning and organizing things, according to the Chinese and Japanese.

On the negative side, the Chinese consider them a mite stingy but willing to help the less fortunate.