Fifteen-day-long festivities of Chinese New Year begin

How you can go BIG this Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year! 2018 The Year of the Dog

In this pictures, a large crowd took part in a traditional dragon dance and fireworks.

As the Chinese diaspora today ushers in the Year of the Dog, many are celebrating through costume parades, firecracker ceremonies and fanciful shows to commemorate the beginning of the spring season.

For many years, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has marked the occasion with a gesture only it can deliver: the issue of a special stamp, created to capture the spirit of the major Chinese holiday. This year, the number travelling to welcome the Year of the Dog will be approximately 385 million, marking a 12 percent rise on 2017 according to China News. In Chinese culture, people born during the year of the dog are believed to inherit some of the animal's characteristics, such as loyalty, patience, and reliability.

Vietnamese families eat red sticky rice, and wish their loved ones, "Chúc Mừng Năm Mới", or "Happy New Year".

A swimming enthusiast in festive attire jumps into cold river at Beiling Park on the first day of the Lunar New Year in Shenyang, Liaoning Province of China. Apparently meant to promote Sino-African friendship and Beijing's growing infrastructure investments on the continent, the skit on state television CCTV also featured a group of black dancers wearing grass skirts and feather headdresses alongside actors dressed up as zebras, giraffes and lions.

How is Chinese New Year celebrated?

The Chinese New Year aligns itself with the lunar calendar, thus the date changes each year but typically happens anywhere from late January to February when the new moon is closest to the start of spring, Time said. "We just buy things every year to put at home for decorations and to welcome the new year".

If you were born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 or 2006 congratulations, you were born in the Year of the Dog.

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