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The Year Of The Dragon

At Camera Obscura we’ll be lighting our building red and decorating some of our exhibits to join in the celebrations. What will you be doing to celebrate Chinese New Year? Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for some fun Dragon related posts on Saturday 10th February. Book your visit to Camera Obscura & World of Illusions here.



What is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is one of the most important and festive holidays in Chinese culture. It marks the beginning of the lunar new year and is a time of family reunions, cultural rituals, and joyous celebrations. Each year in the Chinese zodiac is represented by an animal, and the Year of the Dragon is particularly significant and auspicious. The dragon is a symbol of strength, power, and good luck. It is often associated with royalty and is believed to bring prosperity and success.

During Chinese New Year, families come together to share meals and participate in various traditions. Decorations are an essential aspect of the celebration, with homes and streets adorned with red lanterns, banners, and intricate paper cuttings. Red, considered a lucky color, dominates the decor, as it is believed to ward off evil spirits. The New Year's Eve family dinner is a central part of the celebration, featuring an abundance of food, including dishes like dumplings, fish, and niangao (glutinous rice cake), each symbolizing prosperity, wealth, and growth. 

Major cities around the world host parades, cultural festivals, and events, showcasing the richness of Chinese traditions and the inclusivity of its festive spirit. Fireworks and firecrackers are set off to scare away evil spirits and to welcome the new year with a bang. Lion and dragon dances are also common, with performers parading through the streets in elaborate costumes, bringing joy and supposedly good luck to the communities they visit. A cherished tradition during Chinese New Year is the giving of red envelopes, or 'hongbao'. These envelopes, typically filled with money, are given to children and unmarried adults, symbolizing the transfer of good fortune and blessings from the elders to the younger generation.



2024 is the year of the Dragon, which occupies the fifth position out of the twelve in the Chinese Zodiac. Each year also includes one of the 5 elements. 2024 is the Wood Dragon, which represents creativity and imagination. The other 4 elements and their meanings are:
Fire: passion, adventure
Earth: patience, stability
Metal: persistence, ambition
Water: agility, eloquence

Each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of 12 animals. Your sign is derived from the year you were born in the Chinese lunar calendar. 

Rat: 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960

Ox: 2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961

Tiger: 2022, 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962

Rabbit: 2023, 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963

Dragon: 2024, 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964

Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965

Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966

Sheep: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967

Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968

Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969

Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970

Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959


Happy Chinese New Year 2024!

We would love to welcome you for a visit to Camera Obscura & World of Illusions, where we will be lighting our building red and decorating some of our mind-boggling exhibits to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Book online here!



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