Monday marks the beginning of the new lunar year in China and other countries influenced by Chinese culture. It is the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar, comparable to a combination of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, when families gather to share the blessings of the past year and attract good fortune in the coming one.
Jan. 22, 2012 Chinese folk artists perform the lion dance at a temple fair in Beijing to celebrate the Year of the Dragon, which begins Jan. 23. Also known as the Spring Festival, the new year celebration begins on the first day of the first month of the lunar-based Chinese calendar and ends with the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth day. Feng Li/GETTY IMAGES Buy Photo