BEIJING, CHINA (CNN) -- The water dragon is associated with wealth and power. It's supposed to bring about growth and change. And the scene is certainly set for that in China, where the economy is slowing and a leadership change is looming.
It's a new year but old worries, money mostly, as millions of Chinese flocking to traditional temples to pray for good fortune. "Our family hopes to buy a car this year but we still need to look at the costs of registration if we can afford it", this woman says.
Dongyue is the god of life, death and everything in between. He's also known as the guardian of 18 levels of hell. People pray that Dongyue will prevail over the might of the dragon.
It is the most powerful symbol in the Chinese zodiac and can bring trouble. 1976 was a dragon year. an earthquake in Tangshan killed hundreds of thousands of people. China's supreme ruler Chairman Mao died.
2012 will bring its own challenges. China's juggernaut economy is slowing. President Hu Jintao will begin handing power to a new generation of Communist leaders.
But this is actually a water dragon year. It is very rare only once every 60 years. The difference? The water dragon is meant to cool things down.
Du Longzhi is a Taoist priest, and people come to him to glimpse the future and.he likes what he sees. "The dragon year is a year of luck, growth and prosperity", he says. "The dragon represents the sky and moving up, just like this flame."
If Chinese are looking for lucky omens, look no further than the oracle of Omaha. Billionaire Warren Buffett, helped china see in the new year with a song broadcast to an audience of hundreds of millions on China State Television.
Chinese hope that in the year of the dragon they too have something to sing about.