Lunar New Year Celebrations Around World Usher in Year of the Dragon [Photos]

Around the world — from Houston to Sydney to Shanghai — people are celebrating the start of the Lunar New Year and welcoming the Year of the Dragon. The Dragon represents good fortune and power, and the year is considered to be particularly auspicious because it is the only mythical animal in the Chinese zodiac. Also, for the first time in 60 years, the element water intersects, symbolizing more calm, opportunity and growth.

Chris Livaccari, Director of Education and Chinese Language Initiatives at Asia Society, told Yahoo Shine, "I think some people tend to think of these holidays and celebrations as something very exotic, but most people in contemporary East Asia see this time as an opportunity to take a break from school and work and reconnect with family, much like we would on Thanksgiving or Christmas."

Asia Society invites you and your family to ring in this Year of the Water Dragon on February 4, 2012 in New York with a lion dance, a kung fu demonstration, music and storytelling from China, and a ceramics and puppet workshop.

Asia Society President Vishakha Desai offered her best wishes. "As we enter the Year of the Dragon, let me wish all of you a wonderfully creative year, a hallmark of the Dragon Year, and a peacefully productive 2012."

About the Author

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Shreeya Sinha is an award-winning Journalist, Multimedia Producer and Social Media Editor for Asia Society. She was raised in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India.