Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox in the Chinese lunar calendar, kicking off a 15-day celebration in China and around the globe.
Around Sarasota, most of the celebrations were truncated into two days over the weekend.
The new year celebration, during which ethnic Chinese and sinophiles -- people who admire and study Chinese culture -- gather to watch dragon dances, eat specially prepared food and visit with family, heralds a year that is expected to bring hope and prosperity.
The Chinese zodiac system is based on animals, and this new year is the Year of the Ox, an animal that symbolizes calm, hard work, resolve and tenacity.
Because the Chinese calendar is based on the moon's rotation, the new year can occur anytime from mid-January to late February.
The calendar, is based on 12 temperaments represented by 12 symbolic animals — rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.Read more »