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Published: Feb 7, 2006
Town Tempo: Chinese New Year celebration

"The new line of dragons is a lot lighter," Michael Lo says, sweat beaded up on his face. "The old ones were a lot heavier — not that these are really light." Lo has been performing the Dragon Dance for six years as a member of the Triangle Area Chinese American Society. He performed it Saturday, Jan. 28, in celebration of the Chinese lunar New Year and the Year of the Dog at Colonial Baptist Church in Cary.

"Being the head is hard, but the tail is probably the hardest," says Lo. The person forming the rear of the dragon has to support the weight of the head as well as the person operating it, all while performing a series of tricky maneuvers.

Years of the Dog include 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 and 2006. People born in the Year of the Dog are said to be loyal, kind and generous. Jane Goodall, Bill Clinton and Benjamin Franklin all were born in the Year of the Dog. Chinese New Year starts with the new moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later with a special lantern ceremony. This year represents year 4704 in the Chinese calendar.

It is considered bad luck to wash your hair or clean the house during the Chinese New Year because you would be washing away your good luck for the coming new year.