Saturday, February 10, 2024

Happy Chinese New Year!

Did you know that Feb. 10 is the Chinese New Year?

Feb. 10 is the first day of a new year in the traditional Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year is also known as the Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival.

Chinese New Year celebrations usually last 16 days, starting from New Year’s Eve until the Lantern Festival, which falls on Feb. 24 this year.

The festivities start with a family reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve. On the first day of the New Year, Chinese people visit relatives and the graves of deceased family members.

It is customary at this time for older relatives to give younger family members hongbao (meaning “red packets”) containing cash to wish them luck and good fortune for the coming year.

Feb. 10 ushers in the Year of the Wood Dragon. Dragons represent prosperity and good luck. The feng shui element of wood represents new growth and new beginnings.

Are there dragons in The Geomancer’s Apprentice series?

The creatures don’t appear in my urban fantasy books. However, my main character Junie Soong—who has the ability to channel qi, or energy—and others like her are known as Dragon warriors. I thought it was an apt name for my heroes because dragons hold such a special place in Chinese myth and culture.

In Chinese mythology, dragons are divine beings both wise and benevolent. They also signify power, authority, luck and good fortune. They represent leaders and warriors.

In the olden days, dragons were thought to control bodies of water, floods, typhoons and rain. The Chinese emperors were believed to be the descendants of dragons.

The dragon is the only mythological creature in the Chinese zodiac. It is also the most popular of the 12 zodiac animals. People born in dragon years have strong leadership qualities.