“Wow! You’re twins? One boy and one girl? That’s so rare! Did you know that you are dragon-phoenix twins? (鳳凰, fenghuang)
Growing up, my twin and I would always hear this from our Chinese teachers (in Hokkien, of course). Twins have fascinated the human mind for centuries, and it was really entertaining to see people come up with myths about twins like them having psychic abilities. As a twin myself, it’s time to separate fact from fiction.
Here are five fun facts about Dragon-Phoenix twins from the dragon half (male side) of the equation.
1. Dragon-Phoenix Twins are Considered to be a Sign of Good Luck in China
Giving birth to a Dragon and a Phoenix is considered a sign of auspiciousness and a harbinger of luck in China. Along with the rarity of the occasion, another reason boy-girl twins stir up so much excitement in China is because of the now-scrapped one-child policy where twins (and other multiples of children) were the only way to have more than one child.
They are also considered the ideal birth because parents ideally want both male and female children. One successful boy-girl twin birth means there is no need to go through another birth. In fact, many people would ask my parents “What did you do to make them?”
2. They symbolize the Emperor and Empress
In Ancient China, the Dragon was an emblem of the Emperor while the Phoenix represented the Empress. They are also considered two of the most powerful symbols of success and prosperity of Chinese mythology. This iconography made boy-girl twins sought after, and their birth an auspicious occasion for the whole family to celebrate. The two mythological creatures are considered a perfect pair and a symbol of love in Feng Shui, inviting matrimonial bliss into the household they are born into. They also represent an eternal bond, which is accurate as having a twin is having a life-long friend who will always be on your side.
3. Male-Female Twins are the most common type of Dizygotic Twinning
Contrary to the belief that male-female twins are more rare than twins of the same gender, it is actually the opposite. Monozygotic twinnings occur at a rate of about 3 in every 1000 births worldwide. For comparison, dizygotic twinning has the following rates per region: in the United States, it is 15 out of 1000. In Europe, 16 out of 1000. Nigeria has the highest rate of dizygotic twinning with about 40 twins per 1000 births.
Among these rates of dizygotic twins, 50% of them will be boy-girl pairs! A pair of female dizygotic twins is the second most common type, while the rarest outcome is two boys.
4. Asians are the race that is least likely to have twins
So if you are of Asian descent and have twins (or are a twin), then congratulations! You are like a pair of rare Pokemon indeed!
Fun fact: Per 1000 births, there is a 0.3% chance of getting twins. In contrast, per 1000 encounters in-game, there is a 0.1% chance of getting a rare shiny Pokemon!
A mother can increase her chances of getting twins by doing the following: getting pregnant in her late thirties or forties, consuming high amounts of dairy, eating yams, taking fertility treatments, and conceiving while breastfeeding.
5. Twins Truly Speak Their Own Language
According to our parents, my twin and I would have lengthy conversations complete with hand gestures, replies, and laughing. We even had our own inside jokes as infants and toddlers! Worryingly, we used our language to carry out devious schemes such as escaping our playpen by kicking out the floor of the crib together.
Unfortunately this is no longer the case, as the mysterious language of our childhood disappeared into the recesses of our minds. Don’t believe us? Here is a video of twins communicating to prove it!
We hope you enjoyed this article!