Chinese New Year – 2012 Is Year Of The Dragon
Welcome to the Year of the Dragon! It's the Asian Spring Festival and perhaps the most important holiday of the Asian world. It's a VERY interesting celebration with lots of celebrations crammed into one blanket holiday.
Marking the end of the Winter season, Wikipedia adds:
Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, such as Mainland China, Hong Kong,Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines , Singapore,Taiwan, Thailand, and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors. These include Korean (Seollal), Bhutanese (Losar), and Vietnamese cultures.
I grew up north of San Francisco and we often had authentic Chinese Dragon Dancers in for "assembly". It was SO loud but so cool.....we always looked forward to their arrival.