January 23rd marks the start of the Lunar New Year. In China, in particular, this time is known as the “Spring Festival” and it marks the end of the Winter season. Since the Chinese follow a Lunisolar calendar, the festival begins on the first day of the first Chinese lunar month. A long holiday, spanning 15 days, the celebration ends on the 15th day with the Lantern Festival.
While traditions may vary by culture, typically households will thoroughly clean their homes to sweep away negative qi in hopes of making way for good incoming luck. They gather together and celebrate the onset of the New Year with an elaborate feast. Traditional food will include such items as whole fish, pigs, ducks, chicken, dumplings, and sweet delicacies. At the end of the night, the family will assemble to light firecrackers and many parents gift their children with money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone. Homes and businesses are decorated with red paper cut-outs using popular themes of “good fortune,” “happiness,” “wealth,” and “longevity.”
The Year of the Dragon
Often the symbol of Emperors, Dragons are the noblest and desirable sign in the Chinese Zodiac. They stand for power, strength, and good luck. Those born under the influence of Dragon are considered luckiest of all. Examples of some famous Dragons include John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Al Pacino, Marlene Dietrich, Isabella Rossellini, Sandra Bullock, and Matt Dillon.
Do you know if you’re a Dragon? You are if you were born after the lunar new year in 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000 or 2012.
The Year of good fortune, the Dragon year is believed to be good for business and finances. And since it’s known to leave wealth & prosperity in its way, the Dragon always leads street processions during Chinese New Year. Furthermore, under the influence of the Dragon, it is considered a Yang, as opposed to a Yin, year. This is also a water year in the 5 element system and Yang Water is like a flowing river rather than a stagnant lake. Things will move, ideas will flow, economies will boom (let’s hope so!), and love will blossom. It’s likely to be an exciting year indeed!