Anne Lauren Luben's picture
  • Dish
  • 25 January 2017

Chinese Lunar New Year is almost here - the celebration will begin this Saturday and come to a close on February 15th. Celebrations will take place around the world as well as throughout the United States, often in the Chinatown areas of larger cities. Chances are that you've seen those large, intricate and beautiful lion's heads making their way through the streets, carried by a series of dancers. They make their way through the area, bringing good luck to each business. But where did this tradition begin?

To find out, we've got to go way, way back - all the way to the third century. And while the traditional stories vary, many include the tale of a monster that tormented a village until the people were able to scare it away using drums and firecrackers. Still others include the villagers building a lion-like animal to scare off the monster.

This year is the Year of the Rooster, traditionally a positive symbol. Though the lion dance was originally a way to show off someone's martial arts ability, it has evolved over the years into more of a dance. Do you celebrate Lunar New Year? Leave us a comment and tell us about your traditions!