Lantern Festival in Shanghai, January 23, 2012. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)
Yesterday, millions of people celebrated the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year, with 2012 being the year of the Dragon. In the Chinese astrological cycle, the dragon signifies good fortune and power. This particular year is also associated with the element of water, which makes 2012 the Year of the Water Dragon, an emblem of optimism and growth that comes around only once every 60 years.
In China, the holiday kicks off 15 days of celebration. It also triggers the largest human migration in the world, as hundreds of millions of Chinese trek to see families. Alan Taylor’s In Focus is on the scene with images from several countries where revelers have been welcoming the arrival of the Water Dragon.