The Year of the Dragon
Young children dressed in dragon headpieces prepare to perform at a temple fair to celebrate the Year of Dragon on Jan. 22 in Beijing.
The Chinese Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is based on the Lunisolar Chinese calendar. Celebrations begin on the first day of the first month of the lunar year and end on the 15th day with the Lantern Festival. The Year of the Dragon will last until Feb. 10, 2013, when the Year of the Snake will begin. (Photo: Feng Li/Getty Images)
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Chinese folk artists perform a traditional dragon dance as confetti rains down at a temple fair during Chinese New Year celebrations on Jan. 22 in Beijing.
A dragon dance involves a team of people — sometimes as many as 50 people — carrying a serpent-shaped dragon puppet on poles through a choreographed routine of undulations, corkscrews, waves and other patterns.
Because dragons are so revered in Chinese culture, their appearance is not limited to the Year of the Dragon. Dragon dances appear at most large festivals in China. (Photo: Feng Li/Getty Images)
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Ringing in the Chinese New Year: Big Snapshot
Performers dressed in dragon-themed costumes celebrate the Chinese New Year at a temple fair in Beijing, China.