According to the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Dragon begins January 23, 2012, under the sign of the element Water. Although the Gregorian calendar (the most widespread calendar in the world) is officially in force in China, the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar continues to be followed. In the traditional calendar, the Chinese year is divided into 12 lunar months each starting on a new moon and lasts 29 to 30 days.
The most favorable year
Of all the years of the Chinese calendar, the Dragon is considered the most favorable. Also, Chinese couples who have babies this year are particularly pleased because they think that there's no better year to be born the year of the Dragon. And considering the next year of the Dragon is twelve years from now, it is very likely we'll see an increase in births this year. In general, this year will be filled with happy surprises!
Fun and festivities
Chinese New Year celebrations last 15 days. This is a time to pay debts, make peace with enemies, and make new commitments for the upcoming year. It's time to clean the house and decorate it with traditional images.
Family members gather to celebrate the last meal of the year under one roof. This feast offers only the most refined dishes, with foods having symbolic meaning that bring happiness and luck. The abundance of food encourages a fruitful year ahead. At the end of the meal, gifts are exchanged, traditionally anonymously in a red envelope.
The Lantern Festival
The 15th day of the new year closes the festivities in style. During the full moon of the evening, observers launch decorated paper lanterns. While they can be decorated in any number of fashions, this year we can expect to see lots of dragons!
Happy Chinese New Year to all! Send good fortune to your friends for the year with a Chinese New Year ecard!
Chinese New Year
Prosperous New Year
New Year Zen