(GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.) — Monday is Chinese New Year, and it marks the beginning of the year of the dragon, which only comes around every 12 years.
In Chinese culture, it is considered good fortune to be born during the year of the dragon, and so many mothers are trying to get pregnant.
Expectant mother Cho Ling Chezem of Grand Rapids, Mich. was surprised to learn she was pregnant, and she wasn’t sure she was ready to be a mom.
“Then, people and family mentioned it will be, baby will be born in dragon year and I was thinking not bad, actually it’s good,” said Chezem.
Chezem was even more excited when she learned her baby would be a boy.
“People prefer a boy in China, to carry on the family name,” Chezem said.
Yi Ling Cummings of Grand Rapids, Mich. is expecting a baby girl and is thrilled that her daughter will be born in the year of the dragon.
“We believe dragon is very magic, they bring good luck to people,” Cummings said.
In Hong Kong, expectant mothers are fighting to find an empty bed in maternity wards.
Many expectant mothers travel from mainland China to Hong Kong to give birth every year, according to the Tapei Times. Giving birth in Hong Kong gives the child education rights and offers a loop hole around China’s one child policy.
Mainland mothers accounted for 38,043 out of 80,131 births in Hong Kong last year, according to the Tapei Times, and a baby boom is expected in 2012 because it’s the year of the dragon.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Catherine E. Shoichet, Max Blau and Steve Almasy, CNN
Barbara Starr, CNN
Ben Westcott, CNN
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Tim Hume and Vasco Cotovio, CNN