Lunar New Year: What to know about the Year of the Dragon

The Year of the Dragon

The Lunar New Year celebrates the arrival of spring.

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It happens on a different day every year and is based on moon cycles, according to USA Today.

When does Lunar New Year start?

The Year of the Dragon starts on Feb. 10 and continues through Jan. 28, 2025, when the Year of the Snake begins. Feb. 10 happens to be the night of the second new moon that comes after the winter solstice, according to USA Today.

How is it celebrated?

The Lunar New Year is celebrated with carnivals, parades, fireworks, family events and more in Asian communities, including in the United States, according to The Associated Press. Asian countries celebrate with a big festival that lasts multiple days. Each country celebrates differently.

It is celebrated around getting rid of bad luck and bringing in good luck and prosperity. You will particularly see the color red involved. In many Asian cultures, that signifies a good future and joy.

Many will wear red clothes, decorate their homes or spaces with red lanterns and also give family and friends a red envelope with money inside to promote good wishes for the year, according to the AP.

Years of the Dragon, past and future

The next Year of the Dragon will occur in 2036. Previously it was celebrated in 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000 and 2012, USA Today reported.

Significance of the dragon

The dragon is part of the Chinese zodiac calendar. It is actually the fifth animal out of 12, according to USA Today. It signifies good luck, justice, prosperity and strength.

“A dragon in China, as a culture, it’s a spirit, it’s a symbol,” Chen Yang, a professor of Chinese culture and philosophy at George Washington University, previously told USA Today. “The dragon is a well-known mascot.”

The 12 animals are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig, according to CNN. Your zodiac animal is based on the year you were born.

“For those who are born in the Dragon year, you would experience more rocky luck and a bit more limitations with work, relationships, etc, in general,” says Thierry Chow, a Hong Kong-based consultant who blends traditional Chinese geomancy with modern design elements, according to CNN. “It’s a good year to stay low-profile and humble. The higher profile you try to be, the harder it’ll hit you.”

Some experts are hoping that a dragon year will lead to an increase in the Chinese birth rate, according to the University of Colorado. It was reportedly seen in 2012 when a boom was seen that year.

“Dragon years are definitely considered some of the most auspicious,” explains Yu Zhang, a teaching assistant professor of Chinese at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations. “Maybe among younger generations, the (Chinese) zodiac isn’t as important as it used to be, but I would say there’s still a preference for dragon years.”

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