Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Year Of The Dragon

Be lucky: Millions of Chinese around the world welcome in the traditionally prosperous Year Of The Dragon
Millions of ethnic Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese across Asia are ringing in the new year with fireworks, feasting and family reunions. From Beijing to Bangkok and Seoul to Singapore, people hoping for good luck in the Year Of The Dragon that begins today are visiting temples and lighting incense, setting off firecrackers and watching street performances. For many, the Lunar New Year is the biggest family reunion of the calendar for which people endure hours of cramped travel on trains and buses to get home. In ancient times the dragon was a symbol reserved for the Chinese emperor, and it is considered to be an extremely auspicious sign. The new year, which traditionally lasts for 15 days, is the longest and most important of the Chinese holidays. Much like New Year in Western cultures, the festival begins on the first day of the first month within the Chinese calendar. It ends on the date of the full moon. This year it starts today and runs until February 6. Despite often being known as 'Chinese' New Year, the annual celebration is recognised by other Asian populations worldwide, within countries such as Thailand and Singapore. Different years are represented by different zodiac animal signs - today marks the start of the Year Of The Dragon. Perhaps the most recognised image within Chinese culture, the dragon symbolises power, strength and good luck. In contrast to European beliefs, where dragons are considered evil creatures, they are seen as having auspicious power and it is seen as positive. Often regarded as one of the most important signs in the zodiac, Chinese tradition dictates that those born in Dragon years tend to be brave, innovative and highly driven, regularly making it to the top of their profession. Famous people born in Dragon years include former U.S. president Bill Clinton, actress Reese Witherspoon and artist Salvador Dali. Those celebrating Chinese New Year mark the occasion by buying presents, clothing, food and decorations embracing popular themes such as wealth, happiness and good fortune. Each of the 15 days has a particular role, and often those taking part in celebrations will abide by the traditional beliefs according to each day.

بالصور: التنين الغواص يجتذب ملايين المحتفلين في الصين

يبدو ان احتفالات رأس السنة لا تنتهي في الصين، وتظهر هذه الصور احتفالات كبيرة وضخمة في مناطق عديدة في الصين، حيث يعتاد الصينيون على حمل أشكال من التنين على الاكتاف او على العصي، ومنهم من يحمل هذه الاشكال التي تشبه البالونات ويسير بها في السوق معبرين عن فرحهم في الاحتفال. ولا ننسى ان نذكر ان الالعاب النارية ايضا حازت على اهتمام واسع هناك، بالاضافة الى المشاهد الاستعراضية، واحدى أجمل هذه المشاهد كانت للتنين الغواص تحت الماء! حيث يقوم شخص بارتداء زي التنين والمشي تحت الماء في حوض كبير، بينما يقوم الاطفال بمشاهدته فرحا، وأخيرا وليس آخرا قاموا برفع كؤوسهم وشرب الخمرة متمنين لبعضهم سنة جميلة أفضل من السابقة.

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