History, facts about Year of the Dragon
The first new moon of the year marks the start of the Chinese calendar.
Lunar New Year is celebrated in China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia and Tibet, and is in countries such as Singapore, with significant Chinese populations. Christopher Livaccari of the Asia Society, told Yahoo! Shine it used to be widely celebrated in Japan, but now most Japanese consider first the residence in January will be the main New Year.
Lunar This year, new year begins on January 23, which is the first day of the first new moon of the year. It ends 15 days before the full moon. The Chinese calendar is divided into 12 cycles, each represented by a special animal. According to Chinese astrology, this year is the Year of the Dragon, the only mythical animal in the zodiac. People born in the Year of the Dragon is said to be energetic, charismatic, and natural born leaders. Some famous “dragons” include Joan of Arc, Vladimir Putin, and John Lennon.
Lunar New Year Traditions
Celebrations of the coming year begins on the eve of the first new moon with a festival and fireworks. Families clean their homes to symbolize a new beginning and buy flowers and plants, representing rebirth. Often, monetary gifts or money in new red and gold envelopes are exchanged to bring good fortune. Livaccari Shine said, “I think some people tend to think of these festivals and celebrations as something very exotic, but most people in contemporary East Asia sees this time as an opportunity to take a break from the school and work and reconnect with family, much as we would have Thanksgiving or Christmas. ”
Lucky foods include dumplings and other delicacies that symbolize small packets of good fortune, oranges, in which sound like the Chinese word for “omen”, and apples that look like “peace”. Fireworks explode to ward off evil spirits. Boisterous dragon dances are also performed to scare the spirits away.
A tradition that children love, is that parents are not supposed to scold their children for the Lunar New Year. Livaccari also points out that, as in the West, “Your average 14 years in Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and is probably more focused on this as a chance to get more time to play video games or interact with their friends online. ”
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