No, we’re not beginning a new science fiction series on our website, and you didn’t fall asleep for 2,700 years. January 23, 2012, is Chinese New Year, which means today marks the first day of the 4,710th year of the Chinese calendar.
Chinese New Year is the most important celebration in traditional Chinese culture. It begins during the new Moon of the lunar month of ZhÄ“ngyuÃ¨, which generally falls a month or so after the western New Year. The celebration itself can last for weeks, and incorporates many traditions, including fireworks, special foods, dragon and/or lion dances, gifts, rituals such as sweeping out one’s home, and more.
Each new year is named for one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, and children born during those years are said to possess some of the qualities of that year’s totem. This year will be the Year of the Dragon, a legendary creature associated with high energy, optimism, and prosperity. Dragon years are considered auspicious.
Here’s hoping that proves to be true this year. Happy New Year!