Category Archives: Culture

What does the Dragon stand for in the Chinese New Year ?

The dragon dance is often performed during Chinese New Year. Dragons are legendary animals, but they are important to Chinese people who think of dragons as helpful, friendly creature. They are linked to good luck, long life and wisdom. They are nothing like the fierce, fire-breathing Western dragons that carry off princesses and eat people. Chinese Dragons are associated with storm clouds and life-giving rain. They have special powers so they can fly in the air, swim in the sea and walk on land.

Chinese Dragon

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Why does Chinese New Year start in February ?

The Chinese calendar is based on moon cycles.

  • The Chinese calendar is categorized as lunisolar, meaning it takes into account both the moon and the sun.
  • The calendar originated over 5,000 years ago during the Shang Dynasty. With the Chinese calendar, days begin at midnight and end the following midnight. Months begin with the first phase of the moon (also known as the new moon or dark moon) and end before the next.
  • The start of the Chinese calendar usually falls on the date of the second new moon after the winter solstice, as the winter solstice must occur within the 11th month of the calendar¬†between January 21 and February¬†21.
  • Each year is symbolized with one of 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac (also known as Shengxiao, translated literally to “birth likeness”). Those born within each year are said to exhibit certain personality traits, much like in Western astrology.

 

Why does Chinese New Year start in February