Chinese zodiac 77

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To the Chinese, the Imperial Dragon or Lung, is considered to be the primary of four benevolent spiritual animals, the other three being the phoenix, the unicorn and the tortoise. Having unrivaled wizdom and power the dragon symbolized the Emperors of China themselves, who were actually called dragons. To distinguish the chinese imperial dragon from all other dragons, only the Imprial Dragon bore five claws.
Scales: Carp (fish) 117 scales total - 81 infused with yang, the good, and 36 infused with yin the bad. The Nagas were dragonlike beings, semi-devine snakes with human faces and serpents' tails who occupy palaces (Patala), in the watery region under the earth.
They are divided into four classes: heavenly, divine, earthly, and hidden, depending upon their function in guarding the heavenly palace, giving rainfall, draning rivers, or guarding treasures. In Burma, the Nagas combine elements of the dragon, snake, and crocodile, and give rubies to those they favor; in addition, they guarded and protected royalty. In another version of the myth, an old man persuaded Nian to turn its wrath on other monsters, not the villagers.

Each year of the Chinese lunar calendar is represented by one of twelve animal symbols of the Chinese zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally lasts 15 days, from the first day (during a new moon) to the 15th day (a full moon). The celebration culminates on the 15th day with the Lantern festival; on this night of the full moon, families mingle in the streets carrying lighted lanterns, often creating a beautiful light display. The Chinese Emperor sat on a dragon throne, rode in a dragon boat and slept in a dragon bed. That?s the traditional Chinese New Year greeting that means ?wishing you prosperity? in Mandarin. Most are based on a ugly bloodthirsty monster named Nian that would emerge on the last night of each year to destroy villages and eat people. Before he was seen riding away on Nian, the old man, actually a god, advised the people to hang red paper decorations in their homes and set off firecrackers on the last night of the year to keep Nian away.
But Chinese calendar dates continue to be used to mark traditional holidays such as the new year and the fall moon festival.
It?s the most important of Chinese holidays, celebrated by billions of people across the world.

The first day of the Chinese New Year ? which begins at midnight on January 23, 2012 ? is the most important of Chinese holidays, celebrated by billions in China, and by millions of ethnic Chinese around the world.
It?s also used astrologically to select favorable dates for weddings and other special events.
But first, before the arrival of the new year, homes are thoroughly cleaned to sweep away ill fortune, and to welcome good luck. On new year?s eve, there are family gatherings to celebrate and enjoy sumptuous traditional feasts, and to greet the new year with fireworks at midnight. This calendar is based on a complex lunisolar calendar system that uses both lunar and solar cycles to mark time.
As a result, Chinese New Year falls on different dates each year, between January 21 and February 21 of the conventional Gregorian calendar.

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