Chinese New Year celebrations start
Celebrations are beginning for the Chinese New Year, with many people around the world looking to jet off from the most convenient airport to join family and friends.
The celebrations, which begin with the Year of the Dragon breathing fire into the Chinese New Year and run until February 6, mark the most lengthy and the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays.
The festival, which starts on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends on the date of the full moon, is recognised by Asian populations around the world in countries including Singapore and Thailand.
It’s the sign for buying presents, clothes, food and decorations covering themes such as wealth, happiness and good fortune, and travelling to the best spot to celebrate, often by bus or coach.
Various zodiac animal signs represent different years, with the most familiar image in Chinese culture being the dragon representing power, strength and good luck. Dragons are considered to have auspicious power looked on as positive, in contrast to Europe where dragons are looked on as evil.
And in Chinese tradition, people born in the Dragon years often reach the top of their chosen profession, tending to be brave, innovative and highly driven.
Former US president Bill Clinton, film star Reese Witherspoon and artist Salvador Dali are among the famous born in Dragon years.
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