Preparations for Chinese New Year are under way as billions of people in China and around the world welcome in the year of the dragon.
Celebrations in Scotland will be marked with families coming together for meals, decorating their homes with red lanterns and taking part in traditional dragon dances.
The Lunar New Year, which falls on Saturday, is the most important annual holiday in China and each year is named after one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac.
At the Wing Hong Chinese Elderly Centre in Glasgow, the focus is on family, friends and good food.
Centre manager Amy Li-Man said: “We are preparing a traditional Chinese meal. It’s called the big pot, which contains different layers of traditional Chinese dishes.
“It’s a symbol of unity because we need to work together to assemble the pot as well as remember our culture and heritage. Also, it tastes really good!”
The dragon is the only mythical creature among the zodiac animals. It is an auspicious being in Chinese culture – its image built from elements of other animals, such as having the body of a snake and the scales of a fish.
It’s also a symbol that features prominently in literature and art throughout China.
In Chinese astrology, people born under the sign of the dragon are believed to be enthusiastic, confident and intelligent.
Dr Isabel Hui Liu, deputy director at the Scottish Confucius Institute, told ST News: “It represents strength, power, nobleness and success. The zodiac dragon is going to bring prosperity, happiness, good health for all.
“I hope the year of the dragon brings good opportunities, good changes and gentle challenges to all and prosperity and good health to all families and friends.”
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