Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Feb 16 (ANI): The Chinese New Year 2018, celebrated today across the globe, is the Year of the Dog, that denotes 'loyalty', said Miao Ru, the abbess of Kuang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Temple.
Ru told ANI, "The Year of the Dog denotes loyalty. It is significant since it encourages everybody to be loyal in all forms of relationships such as with your family, relatives, teachers and students. This includes loyalty to citizens of the country."
The abbess stressed that during the first day of the new year, a puja was held. However, a special puja will be held in the sixth and seventh day of the new year, which is according to the lunar calendar, where the monks will chant different names of Lord Buddha.
In a message to the people in the Chinese New Year, she wished all to stay healthy and be loyal to those, who needed help.
The new year festivities began on Thursday in Kolkata's Chinatown, when the Chinese community bid farewell to the Year of the Rooster and welcomed the Year of the Dog by bursting crackers and organising dragon dances.
Many Chinese eateries and churches were decorated beautifully with Chinese lamps and red paper.
Chinatown, situated in East Kolkata, is India's only Chinatown. The first wave of immigration was of the Hakka Chinese in late 18th century, who came to work on a sugar plantation. Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong's communist regime and the First World War amongst other events were responsible for continued immigration from China to India in the early 1900s.
Chinese people have lived in India for over 200 years and became engaged in manufacturing activities, mainly in tanneries, producing leather goods.
Once a booming ethnic locality with more than 20,000 people, the number has dropped down to just 2,000. The aftermath of the Sino-Indian War in 1962 led most of them to abandon their homes and leave India. Furthermore, the Supreme Court's decision in 1995 to shift tanneries, which was the key source of sustenance for the Chinese-Indians, due to environmental concerns provoked another exodus.
In Chinese astrology, each year is related to a Chinese zodiac animal according to the 12-year cycle. People born in the Year of the Dog are believed to be independent, sincere, communicative and loyal.
Amid large traditional drums beating and colourful festive flags flying, Chinese people on Friday welcomed the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration. More than 1.4 billion Chinese people will be celebrating the arrival of their New Year according to the traditional lunar calendar.
Chinese Lunar New Year is being celebrated on a grand scale around the world and the date of the celebration varies every year.
As 2018 ends with an eight, it is been considered an especially lucky year by the Chinese people.
On this day, the Chinese people wear red jackets and jumpers and buy red lanterns and paper-cuttings to decorate their homes and prepare red steamed buns for family gatherings. Children are given red envelopes containing cash to wish them a happy New Year. (ANI)