Thousands celebrate Chinese New Year in Rome


Updated: 2013-02-07

Thousands of people gathered in central Rome on Saturday night for an early celebration of the Chinese New Year.

A colorful street parade featuring paper dragons and traditional Chinese dancers in sparkling dresses was held near the city's iconic Colosseum.

Belen Himenez is a Rome resident originally from Colombia.

"All the dresses, the costumes, the music, the whole show was amazing. I wish them a year of happiness and a lot of money because Chinese people are good at working."

The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is one of the most significant and celebrated dates on the traditional Chinese calendar.

The exact date of the New Year changes according to the cycle of the moon.

This year's New Year's Eve will fall on February 9th, marking the last day of the Year of the Dragon.

More than a billion and a half people celebrate the festival globally.

Saturday's celebrations closed with a 20-minute fireworks show.