People are ushering in the lunar new year with fireworks and celebrations in Asia and around the world.

Monday marks the start of the Year of the Dragon in the 12-year rotation of the Chinese Zodiac calendar. The mythical and powerful dragon symbolizes royalty and good fortune, and for believers, the year and those born in that year take on those qualities.

In a New Year’s message, Singapore Prime Minister Hsien Loong said he “fervently” hoped that the auspicious symbol would prompt his countrymen to have more babies. Singapore is struggling with a low birth rate and a shrinking population. But the nation has seen a baby boom in past Dragon years.

Other Asian countries are also expecting a spike in births in the coming year from parents looking to capitalize on the wealth, luck, and courage said to come from a Dragon-year baby.



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