Chinese New Year (also called the Lunar New Year) occurs in the early months of our calendar year, typically January or February and this year falls on January 23rd. This is the first of 15 days of celebration and the start of the Year of the Dragon.
In Chinese tradition, each year is dedicated to a specific animal. The Dragon, Horse, Monkey, Rat, Boar, Rabbit, Dog, Rooster, Ox, Tiger, Snake, and Ram are the twelve animals that are part of this tradition. In 2012, the Dragon is welcomed back after the 2011 year of the Rabbit. Each of these animals is thought to bestow their characteristics to the people born in their year.