Year of the Dragon
News Shorts
Posted: February 12, 2024
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    A giant dragon lantern is reflected on a frozen lake in Beijing, China. Many people celebrated Lunar New Year on February 10. (AP/Andy Wong)
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    People buy treats for Lunar New Year celebrations at a street market in Taipei, Taiwan. (AP/Chiang Ying-ying)
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    Chinese dragon dancers perform in Beijing, China. (AP/Andy Wong)
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    Residents shop for Lunar New Year decorations in Beijing, China. (AP/Andy Wong)
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    People visit a temple on the first day of the Lunar New Year celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan. Worshippers ask false gods for blessings. But only the one true God has that power. (AP/Chiang Ying-ying)
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Fireworks. Feasts. Red envelopes stuffed with cash. People in several Asian communities celebrated the Lunar New Year on Saturday.

Many Asian countries use a lunar calendar. It follows the cycle of the Moon. (The Gregorian calendar you probably use is a solar calendar.) The new year celebration begins with the first new Moon of the lunar calendar.  

The Chinese calendar follows a 12-year cycle of animals. Those are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. This year is the Year of the Dragon.

In China, the holiday is known as the Spring Festival. It is called Tet in Vietnam. Koreans celebrate Seollal.

People fire bottle rockets and other fireworks. Children get red envelopes filled with money.

Many people travel home to visit relatives. Some take vacations. In places like Taiwan and China, highways were clogged. Airports were full.

In South Korea, visitors crowded royal palaces and other tourist sites. Many wore traditional flowing robes called “hanbok.”

People in Hong Kong savored rice cakes and turnip cakes.

Asian communities in the United States also organized parades and festivities. Those feature traditional dances. People eat foods like dumplings, spring rolls, and tangerines.

New year traditions are often meant to bring “good luck” for the year ahead. In many Asian cultures, the color red stands for good fortune and joy. People dress in red clothes and decorate their homes with red paper lanterns. Some visit temples to pray for good luck and blessings.

But the Bible teaches us that God is in control over our lives, not luck. Proverbs 16:33 says, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” We don’t have to worry about having “good luck” or “bad luck.” We know that God cares for us. (Romans 8:28) What a blessing!