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Adventure Blog

2012: Year of the Dragon

Buzz Poole
01/24/2012 - 00:00
via The Gåuardian

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, this past Sunday marked the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, and for the next fifteen days, until the next full moon, all over the world Chinese citizens, expatriates, many other Asian populations and anyone who loves a party will spend time with family and friends, eating, relaxing and celebrating with parades, fireworks displays, dragon boat races and countless more activities and special events.

Known in China as the Spring Festival, each new year carries with it the characteristics of one of the twelve animals of the zodiac – rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, pig – which correspond to “the cycle of twelve stations or ‘signs’ along the apparent path of the sun through the cosmos,” according to History.com. The dragon is the most auspicious of the zodiac animals, being associated with emperors. Those born in the Year of the Dragon are thought to be self-assured, diplomatic, artistic, passionate, temperamental and stubborn. I was born in a Year of the Dragon and I have to say that these are all fair ways to describe me, and my wife would agree, too.

No matter where in the world you are, if you want to get in on Lunar New Year festivities the options abound:

The Guardian provides an overview of how different regions of China celebrate, from Harbin’s Snow and Ice Festival to Shanghai’s Lantern Festival.

Australia is home to a large Chinese population; Sydney even has a dedicated, and informative, Chinese New Year website.

Of course, North American cities are also home to many Chinese. In the US, President Obama issued his best wishes for a happy new year, recalling his childhood in Hawaii and how special this time of year is there. San Francisco’s Chinese New Year parade has been going on since the 1860s, according to its website. In Flushing, Queens, the next two weeks are filled with traditional activities as well as new traditions that reflect true global culture. Toronto also throws down with a bevy of events, including parades and foodie walking tours.

In fact, any major city in the world with a Chinatown will have various festivities on offer. So if the winter blues have you looking for a reason to celebrate, do like the Chinese and usher in the beginning of spring!

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