The dragon, also known as loong, is the fifth of the 12-year cycle of animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Dragon is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 辰 (pinyin: chén).

It has been proposed that the Earthly Branch character may have been associated with scorpions; it may have symbolized the star Antares. In the Buddhist calendar used in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka, the dragon is replaced by the nāga. Early Persian translations of the medieval period change the dragon to a sea serpent, and during China's Cultural Revolution, there was an attempt to replace the dragon with the giant panda; however, the movement was short lived. 🐉

As we usher in the Lunar New Year, we're not just celebrating a new beginning but embracing the strength, wisdom, and luck that the majestic Dragon brings to us all. Across the globe, vibrant traditions come alive, showcasing the beauty of cultural unity and diversity.

🏮 In China, the air is filled with the glow of red lanterns, symbolizing joy and good fortune. The streets buzz with the excitement of dragon dances, bringing prosperity and good luck to the community. There are typically marked spikes in the birth rates during the Year of the Dragon, because these births are considered to be lucky and have desirable characteristics that supposedly lead to better life outcomes.

🦁 Singapore and Malaysia light up with the dynamic beats of the lion dance, a spectacle of color and skill believed to chase away bad spirits and usher in good luck and happiness.

🌸 Vietnam's Tet celebrates with bustling markets, fragrant flowers, and the exchange of lucky money in red envelopes, encapsulating the warmth of family reunions and the hope for a prosperous year ahead.

🎎 In Korea, the Lunar New Year or Seollal is a time of honoring ancestors and celebrating with loved ones, wearing traditional hanboks, and sharing wishes for peace and happiness.

I invite you to explore these rich traditions. Whether it's witnessing the grandeur of the dragon dance, savoring festive delicacies, or simply soaking in the joyous atmosphere of unity and renewal, let's make this Lunar New Year an unforgettable experience.

I can help you plan a journey to celebrate the Lunar New Year in all its glory, from the bustling streets of Beijing to the vibrant markets of Hanoi, the lively parades of Seoul to the spirited performances in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

Here's to a year of adventure, prosperity, and countless blessings.

Happy Lunar New Year! Gung hei faat choi 🎉