BEIJING - JANUARY 25: Entertainers play a lion dance during a temple fair held to celebrate the Chinese New Year on January 25, 2009 in Beijing, China. People in China's capital have started to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of ox on the lunar calendar which falls on the 26th of January, 2009. (Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images)
You can ward off evil spirits and usher in the Year of the Tiger with lion and dragon dances and martial-arts displays, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and see the mother of all firecrackers -- a five-story high firecracker -- get lit at 3:45 p.m.
The new year parade starts at 5th and I Streets NW, and runs on H and I Streets, between 6th and 8th Streets. There will be no parking on the parade route, starting at 7 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 21 and the following street closures will be in effect:
And for those of you paying attention, this is the year of the Metal Tiger. Not to be confused with the Earth,
Wind -- er, Wood and Fire Tigers.
Chinese astrologers say that the Metal element gives the Tiger its sharpness in action and speed of thought, notes the Daily World Buzz, and:
Tigers born in the Metal year like to stand out in a crowd. With an inspiring assertiveness and competitive demeanor, Tigers determine their goals and then do anything necessary to achieve them.
Raawwrr! The last year of the Metal Tiger ran from Feb. 17, 1950 to Feb. 5, 1951, which means that one of those
oldsters -- uh, we mean older, yet still very attractive people like Arianna Huffington -- is very likely a Tiger, which could be ironic, given that sometimes tiger people come into confict with older people or those in authority, or it could really explain the 60's. Hhhmmmm....
Tigers are also often sensitive, given to deep thinking, and capable of great sympathy, according to Chinese legend. And, just like real tigers, they are physically powerful, gracious, independent and brave, as well as extremely bold animals.
As for the rest of us, the year of the Tiger is supposed to bring stability and growth. If that means the economy's getting better, then Gung Hay Fat Choy!