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It’s time to celebrate Chinese New Year. 2012 marks the year of the dragon. The dragon is a symbol of good fortune and a sign of power and authority. This 10-inch antique Chinese plate is decorated with a blue dragon on a yellow background. It sold for $13,310 at a DuMouchelles auction.

Chinese dragon plate

Chinese Lunar New Year starts with the new moon on the first day of the new year (January 23rd) and ends at the full moon 15 days later. It’s a time for families to gather and feast on traditional foods. Many rituals are carried out during this period that are meant to honor past generations and bring good luck and long life to the family. Fireworks are also set off to scare away evil spirits.

Since the 1990s, the holiday has been given a more modern slant and called “Spring Festival,” marking the end of winter.

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