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The Chinese New Year will be here soon. Many people are already starting to buy Chinese jewelry for gifts

Chinese New Year Necklace

Dragon Chinese New Year Pendant

and red envelopes. But have you ever stopped to really consider what it all means?  The Chinese zodiac is more than just pretty pictures of animals you see at your local Chinese restaurant. There is a long history and tradition that is very important to Chinese culture.

Legend has it that the Jade King was bored and wanted to see a sampling of the animals on earth. So he invited the twelve signs to a party. So the Chinese zodiac was born. Each sign rotates every year. Chinese zodiac also includes 5 elements: wood, fire, Earth, metal, and water. They correspond to the planets Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus, and Mercury. Each animal is assigned an element. So instead 12 cycles (for each animal), there are actually 60 for every combination. The Chinese Zodiac repeats every 60 years.

Water Dragon
2012 is the year of the Water Dragon.  It is said to be a year of rapid change and good fortune. Some say that it will be a fun and unpredictable year.  For the lucky individuals born between January 23, 2012 and February 9, 2013, they will blessed with ultimate good luck and prosperity. They are brave, pioneering in spirit and generous. Dragons are probably the most revered animal in the Chinese zodiac. Their good luck and strength make them quite popular.

Celebrating the Year of the Dragon
Chinese New Year is a time of giving gifts and celebrating life. Families thoroughly clean their homes before the Chinese New Year’s Eve, sweeping away all the bad luck. This tradition proceeds celebrations of Chinese New Year’s Eve and day with feats, games, and fun.  Families also celebrate by participating in dragon parades, gift giving days and more.

Chinese New Year Gifts
The most common gift is a Red Chinese envelope. Red envelopes have been part of Chinese culture for centuries. Filled with lucky money, they are given to friends and family to bring good luck in the upcoming year. Here are some other great gift ideas.

For Her
Chinese jewelry featuring beautiful and inspirational Chinese pendant symbols are always great options. For mom, wife, and especially your daughter, AJ Panda has a selection of Chinese pendants specifically for the Year of the Dragon. The Chinese Zodiac Dragon pendant is a great option, especially if she is a dragon herself (born in 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, and 2012).

For a Child
Have fun at your Chinese New Year party with Chinese New Year toys and noisemakers. Embellished with a red dragon, they’re hand crafted to provide fun and amusement. Chinese YoYos are another fun gift idea or perhaps a dragon kite for a fun day outdoors.

Chinese New Year Crafts
You could buy Chinese New Year gifts for the entire family. Chinese New Year arts and crafts  are a fun option to bring you and your kids together.  Choose from necklace and bracelet kits, cards, dragon wands, and more.

Do you have plans for celebrating the year of the Water Dragon? Share with us what’s you’ll be doing!

Articles:

The Chinese Dragon

Chinese New Year

Chinese Superstitions

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