Nan Tien Temple celebrates Lunar New Year

TRADITION: Lion dances will be part of free celebrations held at Nan Tien Temple to mark Lunar New Year. Picture: Sylvia Liber
TRADITION: Lion dances will be part of free celebrations held at Nan Tien Temple to mark Lunar New Year. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Traditional lion dancers will be part of Lunar New Year celebrations at the Nan Tien Temple in Berkeley from Thursday through to March 3.

Chanting and incense offerings will be held, while visitors will be allowed to hit the Bell of Peace at the Main Shrine at midnight to welcome the new year.

It marks the Year of the Dog, the eleventh in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac sign. The Chinese regard the dog as a prosperous animal – man's good friend who can understand the human's spirit and obey its master, whether he is wealthy or not.

Apparently if a dog happens to come to a house, it symbolises the coming of fortune.

Friday (new year’s day) the lion dancers will perform at the temple’s main square along with other multicultural performances, while in the east corridor hungry onlookers can enjoy the vegetarian food fair.

Also known in China as the Spring Festival, it's marked by around one-sixth of the world's population and is celebrated as Tet in Vietnam, Seollal in Korea, Losar in Tibet and Tsagaan Sar in Mongolia.

For the full Chinese New Year celebration program for Nan Tien Temple CLICK HERE.