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The Year of the Snake

In Pictures is a still and moving image gallery for significant works, events and places

Dendroaspis jamesoni jamesonii, 2003
Dendroaspis jamesoni jamesonii, 2003 Photography by Guido Mocafico

Sunday 10th February marks the Chinese New Year, a transition from the largely positive auspices of the year of the Dragon into the more mysterious embrace of the year of the Snake...

Who? Sunday 10 February marks the Chinese New Year, a transition from the largely positive auspices of the year of the Dragon into the more mysterious embrace of the year of the Snake. While the flamboyant Dragon is the symbol of good fortune and positivity, with character traits for those born under it including creativity and courage, the Snake is a more enigmatic sign, breeding individuals prone to refinement, introspection and sometimes Machiavellian ways.

What? The New Year celebrations are the longest and most important in the Chinese calendar, lasting fifteen days, each one riven with traditions and customs. Elaborate presents are bought and homes are richly decorated for the occasion, and houses are comprehensively cleaned to sweep away ill-fortune and make room for good luck in the new year. Families reunite in the evening for a feast, which is also the opportunity to settle differences, abandon grudges and start afresh with a clean slate.

"Following the excitement and bombast of 2012, it seems only fitting that 2013 should see a shift to the quieter, more considered ways of the snake"

Why? Following the excitement and bombast of 2012, it seems only fitting that 2013 should see a shift to the quieter, more considered ways of the snake, although only after the banquets and parades that will take place across the world over the next two weeks.

Text by Tish Wrigley

Tish Wrigley is the AnOther assistant editor.

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