As the Year of the Hare drew to a close on Saturday (31 January) the people of Taiwan heralded the new year - the Year of the Dragon - with hopes for world wide peace and prosperity.
GV Shoppers in big department store. (9 shots)
MV's People buying clothes in arcade. (3 shots)
MV's People buying meat and poultry. (3 shots)
MV Old man making goodwill signs. (4 shots)
Initials VS 21.40 VS 21.45
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Background: As the Year of the Hare drew to a close on Saturday (31 January) the people of Taiwan heralded the new year - the Year of the Dragon - with hopes for world wide peace and prosperity.
The Year of the Dragon is welcomed by Chinese people throughout the world with joy as it is considered a particularly fortunate year in the 12 year cycle of the Chinese calendar.
In Chinese mythology the dragon is the most powerful figure - full of strength, bringer of rain after drought, encouraging fertility ad guardian of the ancient emperors.
Although Taiwan is a modern country many Chinese peasants still follow the lunar calendar and put great faith in traditional Chinese horoscopes. To then it was not a coincidence that the year ended - the Year of the Hare -- saw much was and destruction and the death of several national leaders.
In the days leading up to the New Year shops in Taipei were crowded with shoppers buying new clothes ad gifts for their children and stocking up with enough food to last them over the coming week's celebrations.
For most, the celebrations - called the Spring Festival - meant holidays and a time for family reunions and merrymaking and shows of extravagance unprecedented through the rest of the year.
SYNOPSIS: A large department store in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, where sales rocketed in the last few days of the Chinese year that ended on Saturday.
Few were sorry to see the death of the old year - the Year of the Hare. Although the Chinese belong to the modern world many peasants still follow the lunar calendar and believe it was no coincidence that last ear saw much death ad destruction throughout the world.
But this year is the Year of the Dragon and is considered by the Chinese as a particularly fortunate one in the twelve year cycle of the Chinese calendar.
Celebrations to mark the new year - called the Spring Festival - span over a week. Traditionally people buy gifts and new clothes for their children and stock up with enough foodstuffs to last during the festivities.
Foods is a very important part of the celebrations - and one meal often consists of nine curses. But there are always plenty of people to join in the feast as these holidays are also a time for family reunions and everyone is made welcome in a Chinese home.
But young or old - the Chinese new year is a happy time and as the Year of the Dragon dawned all hoped it would bring peace and prosperity to the world.