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Happy New Year! Wait, didn’t we already do this? No, it’s not deja vu – it’s the Chinese Chinese red lanternNew Year. Unlike our traditional New Year on January 1, Chinese New Year is never on a fixed day because it is dictated by the lunar calendar, which can place anytime from January 21 and February 20.

Although the event will officially begin tomorrow (February 16), Chinese communities have been preparing for weeks. Typically, most families start by thoroughly cleaning their homes “sweeping the dust,” this process is representative of putting old things away and leaving the past behind.

Once all of the cleaning is complete, people decorate their homes with red lanterns and red posters with poetic verses. The color red is much loved because it symbolizes happiness and good fortune.

On the eve of the New Year, family events are extremely common. The festivities begin with a traditional dinner. Throughout the evening, fireworks and firecrackers are set off to get rid of bad luck and encourage good fortune. Other activities include beating drums, striking gongs and as well as Dragon and Lion Parades (we especially like the sound of the last event!)

Each year is given its name from the Chinese zodiac. This year’s zodiac animal is a dog. Years of the Dog include 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018 and 2030. If you were born in a Dog year, you’re a Dog, and the following elements are seen as lucky for you:

Lucky numbers: 3, 4, 9
Lucky color: red, green and purple
Lucky flowers: rose, cymbidium orchids

Unfortunately, it appears that people born in a year of the Dog are destined to have less good luck in 2018, but there are ways to make your own good luck.

Believe it or not, this is not the last New Year we will celebrate in 2018. It’s hard to believe, but in four short months, we will be getting ready to start the Lionistic New Year! We hope the time is going as quickly for you as it is for the rest of us. Lions Pride would like to thank you for your dedication to the Lions organization and appreciate your service.

Do you make plans to celebrate the Year of the Dog? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy Chinese New Year!