Jeff Dai captured this image of the constellation Orion on January 3, 2017. He wrote:
Orion the Hunter shines brightly above the Great Wall, the best-known of China’s landmarks. The ancient Chinese focused on the three lined-up prominent stars of Orion, which are regarded as the three gods of fortune, prosperity and longevity. When the three gods shine highly at the southern sky after sunset, that means it’s time for the spring festival, the traditional Chinese New Year.
Over a billion people in China and millions around the world will celebrate the the Chinese New Year – the most important of Chinese holidays – on January 28, 2017. It’s a lunar new year and so the date is based on the date of new moon. Festivities continuing for 15 days and culminating with the Lantern Festival. Each year is associated with one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. For 2017, it’s the Year of the Rooster.
Many countries in Southeast Asia celebrate the Chinese New Year, including China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. It’s also celebrated in Chinatowns and Asian homes around the world. It’s considered a time to honor deities and ancestors.
Thank you, Jeff!
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.