Today Manchester and communities all over the world will celebrate Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese calendar, and enjoys a whole 15 days of celebrations, from luscious banquets to spectacular firework displays. 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.
In the Chinese calendar, 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 hugely positive. Often seen 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, often making it to the top of their profession.
Popular themes within the New Year celebrations include "good fortune", "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity". The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone. So, whatever your plans are today, I wish you a prosperous Chinese New Year.
Blog Post by Lauren in John Leech's constituency office.