Chinese New Year was brought in with a bang yesterday, kicking off a week of celebrations to bring in the Year of the Dragon.

SkyCity hosted an array of performances - including a Lion Dance - and set off firecrackers yesterday evening at the base of the Sky Tower to mark New Year's Eve.

More celebrations at the Auckland landmark will be held today through to Sunday, February 5, including more dances, pyrotechnics and acrobats.

Dragon and lion dances, and the use of gongs, drums and cymbals, feature in the traditional celebrations as it is believed the loud noise will dispel evil spirits and bring good luck.


Many Chinese believe housework could wash away good luck, and some even avoid washing their hair on Chinese New Year.

The Year of the Dragon is the fifth of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs - and some believe it is the mightiest, most powerful and most intelligent.

Many Chinese consider the Year of the Dragon to be the most auspicious year to have a child, and some women are hoping to get pregnant and give birth before the end of 2012.

Those born under the sign of the dragon are said to be outstanding, driven, independent and destined for success.

- Staff reporter