Chinese around the world will be wearing lots of red today, to celebrate the Lunar New Year marking the end of the disaster-filled “Year of the Rabbit” and to usher in a new year with more prosperity.
January 23 begins the Year of the Dragon, which should bring relief following 2011, which was foreseen by the Chinese calendar as a “very bad year.” (Remember the bevy of natural disasters (Japan’s tsunami, New Zealand’s earthquake, Joplin’s tornado and Mississippi’s flood, to name a few?)
“The dragon in Chinese culture is signified as very powerful. Very powerful and very strong,” says Peter Lung, a Chinese zodiac expert at World of Feng Shui. “America will be very strong this year.”
Most people stay up late on the eve of the lunar New Year, the most festive season for the Chinese, watching TV specials, eating dumplings and other snacks and cozying up with their families. At midnight they light fireworks, which continues for many days thereafter.
The fireworks and the red decorations in front of many homes and businesses were originally intended to ward off bad influences.
READ more in two articles: One in China’s People Daily, which tells you how to celebrate using the traditional customs of the Chinese; and, in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which forecasts the New Year ahead, including one for President Obama, who was born in the Year of the Ox.
Photo by Chamomile via Morguefile