Welcome Year of the Dragon: 2012 Chinese Lunar New Year [36 PICS]

January 23rd, 2012 Permalink

A dragon — the most powerful and revered of the Chinese zodiac signs — is just what the world needs while Mayan predictions for 2012 are all gloom and doom. 2012 is the Year of the Dragon and the Chinese New Year, also called the Lunar New Year, kicks off with parades filled with dancing lions and dragons. The parades start on Lunar New Year’s Day and continue for the next fifteen days until the festivities end with the Lantern Festival. Some dragons are as long as 100 meters and require 50 people dancing in sync. The Dragon is regarded as a sacred creature, symbolising power, courage, righteousness and dignity. The Dragon Dance originated in China during the Han Dynasty (180-230AD) and every Chinese New Year parade ends with a mighty and colorful Dragon Dance. The Dragon is the only animal of the Chinese zodiac year that is not real; it is all powerful, breathes fire, can travel on land, fly in the sky, or dive and swim in the water. Dragons bring good luck. Welcome Year of the Dragon! [36 Photos]

Dragon dance, Chinese Lunar New Year -- 2012 Year of the Dragon

The Chinese Lunar New Year kicks off and 2012 Year of the Dragon is celebrated with a Dragon dance. Dragons are believed to bring good luck to people, and people born in the Year of the Dragon are supposed to have qualities that include great power, dignity, fertility, wisdom and auspiciousness. Photo #1 by Anonymous via Open Walls

Chinese Dragon at Dusk

Chinese Dragon at Dusk. The Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 year-based horoscopes, starting with the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and finally the Pig. People born under those signs are believed to take on the character and qualities of the animal after which the year is named. In Chinese astrology, the dragon is the 5th sign and the only animal of the Chinese zodiac year that is not real. Those born in the Year of the Dragon (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012) are considered lucky. Photo #2 by *Randee


Year of the Dragon, dance, SF Chinatown, Chinese New Year

Year of the Dragon: Dragon dance in Chinatown in San Francisco. The dance represents the end of the year and welcomes a new start, driving away evil spirits, and bringing good luck and fortune. Photo #3 by Cyndy Poon

Chinese New Year

Fireworks celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year. Photo #4 by Jester qadir

Chinese New Year dragon 'dressed' in flowers

Chinese New Year dragon ‘dressed’ in flowers as seen on the walkway of Mandarin Gallery, Orchard Road, Singapore. Photo #5 by Choo Yut Shing

Dragon incognito, Chinese New Year, Chinatown, Chicago

A Chinese New Year ‘Dragon incognito’ in Chinatown, Chicago. While the photographer can call his photo anything he wishes, this is a lion which is often mistakenly called a dragon. Both are part of traditional Chinese culture and dance at Lunar New Year celebrations. Photo #6 by Matt Becker

Blue lion, blue dragon

Blue lion, blue dragon. Wikipedia explains the difference between the lion dance and dragon dance. “An easy way to tell the difference is that a lion is operated by two people, while a dragon needs many people. Also, in a lion dance, the performers’ faces are covered, since they are inside the lion. In a dragon dance, the performers can be seen since the dragon is held upon poles.” Photo #7 by Cyndy Poon

Year of the Dragon -- Chinese Lion at Dogwood Parade, Knoxville, Tennessee

Year of the Dragon — Chinese Lion at Dogwood Parade, Knoxville, Tennessee. Photo #8 by Frank Kehren

Dragons protecting Banksy

Dragons protecting the work of graffiti superhero Banksy. Photo #9 by Cyndy Poon

Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebration 2012, Garden Bridge dragon

Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebration 2012. This dragon is on display at the Garden Bridge and facing New Bridge Road. Photo #10 by Choo Yut Shing

Year of the Dragon, Lion dance

Year of the Dragon. As you can see, each lion in a lion dance is made up of two people. Photo #11 by Cyndy Poon

Year Of The Dragon

People born in the Year Of The Dragon also bear an elemental sign of wood, fire, earth, metal, or water — all of whom supposedly favor the color red. The motto of a Dragon is “I Reign.” Photo #12 by Simon Bisson

Welcome Year of the Dragon, 400' Chinese Dragon, Chinese New Year

Welcome Year of the Dragon with this 400 foot tall Chinese Dragon. Photo #13 by Kenny Louie

Taoyuen Lantern Festival.....takes place at the end of the Chinese New Year Celebration

Taiwan: The Taoyuen Lantern Festival takes place at the end of the Chinese New Year Celebration, on the 15th day of the first moon. Lanterns have been part of Chinese life for centuries so it’s not surprising to see a festival of lanterns. Photo #14 by ishen

You're so vain, dragon

Stopping to check the mirror? The photographer wrote, “You’re so vain, dragon.” Photo #15 by cristiano valli

Why fear the Chinese Red dragon

Why fear the Chinese Red dragon? Dragons are driven leaders, doers, not followers. Born in the Year of the Dragon? “Dragons symbolize such character traits as dominance and ambition. Dragons prefer to live by their own rules and if left on their own, are usually successful. They’re driven, unafraid of challenges, and willing to take risks. They’re passionate in all they do and they do things in grand fashion. While Dragons frequently help others, rarely will they ask for help. Others are attracted to Dragons, especially their colorful personalities, but deep down, Dragons prefer to be alone.” As dragons breathe fire, a person born under Year of the Dragon can flare with temper. Photo #16 by Capital

Chinese New Year NYC - Dragon Dance

Chinese New Year: lion dancing in New York City. The same musical instruments used for lion dancing, the drum, cymbals and a gong, are also used to accompany the dragon’s movements. Photo #17 by Bob Jagendorf

Chinese dragon in a dragon-dance

Chinese dragon in a dragon-dance. The recommended size is supposedly 112 feet and needs 9 or more people dancing with movements based on footwork and hand coordination to execute different pattern combinations. Each dancer must be able to leap and crouch, and to change their direction and pace of movements; it requires discipline, stamina and a substantial amount of practice. Timing is key and precision is needed between the Pearl, the Dragon’s head, and the tail. The Pearl initiates the pattern of movements for the Dragon’s head and body, and eventually the tail. Photo #18 by Caseman

Year Of The Dragon -- sculptures in the Conservatory at the Bellagio

Year Of The Dragon — sculptures in the Conservatory at the Bellagio. Photo #19 by Simon Bisson

Dancing dragons for Chinese New Year

Dancing lions, celebrating Chinese Lunar Year, the Year of the Dragon. Photo #20 by Ryan Prince

Dragon dance in China

Dragon dance in China. Photo #21 by 龙女

Chinese Lunar New Year, beware of the dragon

Chinese Lunar New Year, beware of the dragon. Photo #22 by Pedro Figueiredo

smoke from Firecracker dance -- chinese new year dragon in D.C

Smoke from Firecracker dance in D.C. Photo #23 by Victoria Pickering

Fantastic lion and dragon dance performance

Fantastic lion and dragon dance performance. Photo #24 by Christopher Chan

Beijing Chinese dragon

Beijing Chinese dragon. Photo #25 by Shizhao

Chinese New Year Festival in Dublin

Chinese New Year Festival in Dublin. Photo #26 by William Murphy

Dragonfire New Year celebrations...with dragons, lions, firecrackers, martial artists and more

‘Dragonfire’ the photographer noted. The Lunar New Year parades include “dragons, lions, firecrackers, martial artists and more.” Photo #27 by Jack

Lunar New Year, Chinese New Year

Lanterns and smoke at Lunar New Year. Photo #28 by anonymous

Chinese zodiac Year of the Dragon

Chinese zodiac: Year of the Dragon. Photo #29 by Sengkang

Lit up Chinese zodiac Dragon Head

Lit up Dragon Head at the Lantern Festival conclusion. Photo #30 by Choo Yut Shing

Lunar New Year Parade Red Light Dragon

The photographer called this a “Red Light Dragon.” Photo #31 by Kevin Harber

The Song Emperor, dragon boat, Chinese Lantern Festival

The Song Emperor, dragon boat, Chinese Lantern Festival. Photo #32 by Chris Pigeon

Dragon at the Lunar New Year Thematic Lantern Exhibition

Dragon at the Lunar New Year Thematic Lantern Exhibition. Photo #33 by Anne Roberts

Chinese New Year - Dragon

Chinese New Year performers hold the dragon up on poles, raising and lowering the dragon to make it “dance.” Photo #34 by countrygirlatheart

Fireworks and celebrating during Lunar New Year dragon dance

Fireworks and celebrating during Lunar New Year dragon dance. Photo #35 by Shizhao

Year of the Dragon, Chinese Lantern Festival

Year of the Dragon, Chinese Lantern Festival. Photo #36 by Bruno Ideriha


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