Submitted by ub on Mon, 01/23/2012 - 11:11

From Bangkok to Beijing from Singapore to Seoul, billions of Asians are hoping for good luck in this new year that begins Monday. The masses visit temples to pray and light incense, many also set off firecrackers and enjoy street festivals and joyous performances of Dragon dances.

The Dragon is considered special, although it is the only animal in the Chinese calendar, which does not really exist. According to statistics, more women get pregnant during the year of the Dragon, which only occurs every 12 years.

Unlike the one night New Year celebration in America, Chinese Lunar New Year lasts for 15 days. This year is especially significant since the Dragon is the most powerful symbol of vitality and wisdom. Wearing red, hanging Chinese lucky symbols and red envelopes are among the most exciting traditions practiced.

During ancient times the Dragon was a symbol reserved for the Chinese Emperor, and it is considered to be an extremely lucky and prosperous sign of great fortunes.