On January 23rd, it’s Chinese New Year and we welcome in the year of the dragon. Becky Morales from Kid World Citizen shares some great insights and fantastic pictures to help us enjoy this beautiful and exciting holiday!
Chinese dragons (龙 lóng): kids, teens, and adults love them and they appear everywhere from books to tattoos to Chinese New Year Parades. Unlike European dragons, who breathe fire and must be defeated, Chinese dragons are well-meaning mystical beasts who breathe clouds, often appear in human form, and are frequent characters in ancient stories. Dragons symbolize importance, power and strength, and were the symbol of the Emperor of China. Dragons are also essential in agricultural life, since they are seen to control the seasons and the weather. Chinese Dragons appear at Chinese New Year time, during parades and celebrations. The holiday begins with a dragon dance, performed in public with men holding sections of the Golden Dragon, made of bamboo, paper and linen. Store owners near the procession let off fireworks (invented in China long ago) to attract the dragon’s attention and hopefully have a prosperous business in the new year.
According to the Chinese Zodiac (astrology), every 12 years is the year of the dragon. 2012 is the Year of the Dragon! Many consider that years of the dragon are especially prosperous and dynamic years. If you’d like to learn more about Chinese dragons, visit kidworldcitizen.org, an educational web site with multicultural activities that increase global awareness among kids and families.
Check out other related Kid World Citizen posts with fun and crafty ways to share the excitement of Chinese New Year:
Kid World Citizen – Post on Chinese New Year Crafts
Kid World Citizen – Chinese New Year With Props and Stories