The Chinese Lunar New Year began on January 23, 2012 and is the most important festival in Chinese and Asian cultures, which represents about a quarter of the world’s population. It is celebrated on the new moon of the first month according to the lunar calendar. In Asia, it is a time for family reunions and scrumptious feasts. Many Chinese industries shut down for fifteen days, sending employees home to celebrate with their families. This year, the holidays will run until Monday, February 6.
Chinese astrology is based on a sixty year cycle made up of five elements and twelve animals. 2012 is the year of the Yang Water Dragon, a beautiful magical mystical and mysterious creature.
The Dragon brings the Four Blessings of the East: wealth, virtue, harmony and longevity. But the Dragon can be unpredictable.
The water element is said to calm a dragon‘s fire and magnify the luck. Dragons come in different colors and the Water Dragon is Black. The Black Dragon symbolizes magnificent creativity, calmness and empathy. Be careful, it is also known for stormy weather.
Yang Water is like the ocean or surging river water, forceful and impulsive. It represents wisdom, intelligence and progress. With proper care, the Yang Water Dragon will bring you new exciting opportunities for growth and good fortune.
People from Beijing to Bangkok and from Seoul to Singapore are hoping this Dragon Year will bring them good luck. Their celebration includes visiting temples, lighting incense, setting off firecrackers and watching elaborate street performances. In New York City’s Chinatown district, people set off 600,000 rounds of firecrackers to celebrate the New Year.
For many, the New Year represents a time for cleansing. Everything will be cleaned, including the home, the body and the spirit to welcome and make room for what the New Year has to offer. Be nice to everyone you meet and be very clean on February 4th (that’s the day the Dragon emerges!).
So say goodbye to the Yin Metal Rabbit, and welcome to the Yang Water Dragon. It’s going to be a great year!
Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin)
Gong Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese)
Wishing You a Prosperous New Year!