Local News in Brief : Countywide : Year of Dragon, Lent Both Begin Wednesday

The Year of the Dragon begins Wednesday, the first day of the Chinese lunar year, which is shared by the Vietnamese and Koreans. The lunar calendar is divided into 12 months of 29 or 30 days. The calendar is adjusted to the length of the solar year by the addition of an extra month at regular intervals.

The years are arranged in major cycles of 60 years. Each successive year is named after one of 12 animals--hence the Year of the Dragon.

Wednesday also is Ash Wednesday, first day of Lent as observed by the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the Anglican, Lutheran and some other Protestant churches. Information on services can be obtained through the individual churches.