The Chinese New Year is the most important celebration of the entire annual calendar in the traditional Chinese year.

Chinese New Year begins with the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice. Since there was a New Moon on December 24, 2011 (which waxed into a Full Moon on January 9th and has since been waning), the New Moon which commences on January 23rd is the second New Moon since the solstice and ushers in the Chinese New Year.

For some discussion about the phases of the moon and the celestial mechanics behind these phases, see this previous post and this previous post. For more on the celestial mechanics behind the recent Winter Solstice, see this post and this post.

This year, the calendar of Taoist astrology says that we are entering the Year of the Dragon (which occurs once every twelve years). Taoist astrology also assigns one of the five Taoist elements (or "energy phases") to each year -- the five energy phases are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. There are actually "wood dragon" years, "fire dragon" years, "earth dragon" years, "metal dragon" years, and "water dragon" years: the combination of the twelve animals plus the five energy phases creates a sixty-year cycle rather than a simple twelve-year cycle. This year will be a "water dragon" year -- the last such year in the cycle was sixty years ago, in 1952.

Here is a recent interview with Feng Shui master Raymond Lo by Bloomberg Television's Susan Li, discussing the significance of the Year of the Water Dragon:

Note the association of the Dragon with earthquakes -- this may be very significant.

We have already considered a video in which David Talbott suggests that many of the recurring symbols of the ancient world represent attempts to capture or record the effects of plasma discharge -- a relatively new but important area of scientific study. In the video below, beginning at about the 3:10 mark, Mr. Talbott examines the recurring theme of the celestial dragon, and opines that the long "barbels" or "mustaches" characteristic of the Chinese dragon may embody aspects of plasma discharge that was present in the ancient earth and observed by ancient humanity:

The hydroplate theory draws a scientific connection between powerful earthquakes and plasma discharge (see again the blog post linked above discussing the importance of piezoelectricity in the origin of radioactive isotopes and in the ongoing electric effects present around very powerful earthquakes even into the modern era).

David Talbott argues that the celestial serpent embodies powerful plasma discharge: we have already seen that the ancient Chinese associated this same dragon with earthquakes. Further confirmation is given in the video linked above of Feng Shui master Raymond Lo, associating the dragon with earthquakes. Thus, the dragon's connection with both earthquakes and powerful electric discharge (or even plasma discharge) appears to resonate with the connections made between these phenomena by the hydroplate theory (for more on the connection of plasma discharge and earthquakes, both in the cataclysmic flood event and in very powerful earthquakes in the modern era, see this section in Walt Brown's online book).

We can only hope that this year will not see any catastrophic loss of life or property from powerful earthquakes or electric discharge. However, the apparent connection between the two phenomena embodied in the dragon is an important clue about the ancient history of mankind, and an important confirmatory detail that supports the hydroplate theory.

Happy New Year to all and very best wishes for a prosperous Year of the Dragon! Gung Hay Fat Choy!