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Orion and the Chinese New Year

“When the three stars of Orion shine highly at the southern sky after sunset, that means it’s time for the spring festival.”

The three Belt stars of Orion on February 7, 2016 via Jeff Dai and Jingyi Zhang.  Visit Jeff Dai on Facebook.

The three Belt stars of Orion on February 7, 2016 captured by Jeff Dai. Visit Jeff Dai on Facebook.

Jeff Dai and Jingyi Zhang in Chongqing, China submitted this photo and drawing to EarthSky on February 7, 2016, the first day of the Chinese New Year celebration, which is going on this week across Asia. They focused on the three Belt stars in the constellation Orion. They are three medium-bright stars in a short, straight row at the mid-section of the Hunter. Jeff and Jingyi wrote:

As you know, the three lined-up prominent stars of Orion are easily recognized.

The Chinese regarded them as the three gods of fortune, prosperity and longevity. When the three stars shine highly at the southern sky after sunset, that means it’s time for the spring festival.

Here is the view tonight, Happy Chinese New Year!

Thank you, Jeff and Jingyi!

In Chinese tradition, the 3 belt stars of Orion represent 3 gods.

In Chinese tradition, the 3 belt stars of Orion represent 3 gods. Drawing by Jingyi Zhang.

Bottom line: A photo from China of the three Belt stars of Orion the Hunter and a short discussion of these stars in Chinese tradition … just in time for the Chinese New Year celebration going on this week across Asia.

Deborah Byrd

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