23 Jan 2012

Marking New Year of the Dragon

2:41 pm on 23 January 2012

Chinese people across the world are celebrating a New Year on 23 January, the Year of the Dragon.

Fireworks thunder and families are gathering to enjoy the most important festival for a quarter of the planet's population.

This year takes on a special significance for those who live by the sea as this is the year of the Water Dragon, which happens only every six decades.

The ABC reports the dragon in Chinese mythology brings good fortune and intense power.

Dragons are said to be fearless, ambitious, passionate and self-assured but also conceited and slow to accept help from others.

However, Chinese tradition says that, once every sixty years, the water cools, leading the world's dragons to step back and calmly see things as they are.