Chinese New Year brings Year of the Dragon
Monday marked the first day of the Chinese or lunar new year, bringing on the highly anticipated Year of the Dragon.
People for whom the 12-year Chinese Zodiac is important — including those with connections to some other Asian cultures — consider the Year of the Dragon to be a particularly auspicious time for births and businesses. Children born in a dragon year are believed to be strong, self-assured, fiery and decisive, but can also be arrogant, brash and demanding.
Earlier this month the Jing Mo Athletic Association performed martial-arts demonstrations and lion dances at San Francisco public libraries in anticipation of the new year. The Ocean Beach Bulletin caught up with them at the Anza Branch Library in the Richmond District.
There’s no evidence of lions occurring naturally in China, Lorraine Yee explained to several dozen people gathered to watch the performance. But tradition holds that the colorful costumes and the vigorous lion dance were created by villagers who had never seen a lion, to scare away evil creatures that had been destroying farmers’ crops. Today the lion dance is still associated with good luck and fortune.