Kolkata's Chinese community celebrates year of the Tiger

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Kolkata, Feb 14 (ANI): The Chinese community living in Kolkata celebrated the Year of the Tiger on Sunday.

The Chinese New Year is the biggest festival in the Chinese calendar. Based on the lunar calendar, the date varies from late January to mid-February.

For weeks, adults and children in Kolkata's Chinatown, known as Tangra, have been rehearsing dragon dances, putting up red flags and banners, and repainting the rows of houses, factories and restaurants that run along its winding streets.

"It is the Chinese New Year and this is the year of the Tiger. After every twelve years, the Tiger comes back again. We have twelve different animals for celebrating Chinese New Year. There are dragon dances being performed here. All our relatives and friends have come here from abroad to celebrate this auspicious day," said Howard Lee, a resident.

In the Chinese calendar, each year is represented by one of twelve animals from the Chinese zodiac.

The festival's many customs, observed by millions of Chinese communities around the globe, link back to the idea of inviting good fortune and prosperity, and chasing away bad luck.

"In Chinese custom, we have a calendar of 60 years circle and these 60 years are divided by twelve years each, which means five circles make one complete circle. These twelve years are the years of the animals. The story says that one day Lord Buddha called all the animals and wanted to name the years after the animals, but only twelve animals turned up. Some came early and some late. He named the years after the animals according to the order of their arrival. This is the year of the tiger," said Paul Chung, president of the Indian-Chinese association for cultural nd welfare development. (ANI)

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