Say goodbye to the Year of the Rabbit — the Year of the Dragon starts on Saturday.
The new lunar cycle will begin on February 10, with celebrants across Asia and the world welcoming the Year of the Dragon. The Lunar New Year is an important part of Asian culture, with tradition calling for a rich family dinner of dumplings, cakes, fine liquors, and the exchange of red envelopes full of cash on New Year’s Eve.
While family and religious observances are at the center of this holiday, it is also a time to ward off evil spirits, embodied by a monster called Nian in Chinese culture. This traditionally calls for setting off fireworks, yet there are other ways to ensure that good fortune and prosperity await in the Year of the Dragon.
For instance, donning some red clothes, cleaning up the house, serving fish at a family dinner, eating something sweet, and being generous to others can increase one’s likelihood of a fortuitous new year.
The dragon is one of 12 animals appearing in the Chinese zodiac, including the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Traditionally, those born in a given year are believed to have several elements of their lives influenced by the traits of their zodiac animal, such as their marriage prospects, careers, and even personalities.
The Year of the Dragon, represented by a mythical beast symbolizing strength, power, wisdom, and success, will be a lucky year for those born in the Years of the Rat, Monkey, and Pig, according to the zodiac tradition.
Those living in or near Dallas can celebrate the Year of the Dragon at the Chinese New Year Festival 2024 on February 10 at the NorthPark Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, with plenty of lion and dragon dances, martial arts demonstrations, calligraphy crafts, food vendors, and more to delight in.