Millions of Chinese nationals traveled back home, to celebrate the New Year in a traditional manner, with their family and friends. In addition, there were also celebrations across the world, which began with fireworks displays and ended with a feast of different kinds of foods.
People from Beijing to Bangkok and Seoul to Singapore, hoping for good luck, success and happiness in this Dragon year, are visiting temples and lighting incense sticks and setting off firecrackers and watching street performances. In New York City's Chinatown district, people set off 600,000 rounds of firecrackers to celebrate the New Year.
The events and festivities were attended by the city's Senator, Kristen Gillibrand, who, along with other officials, wished everyone a "Happy New Year".
Incidentally, in Chinese mythology, the dragon is considered a very auspicious sign.
The Chinese New Year festivities traditionally last for 15 days. The festival begins on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar and ends on the date of the full moon.
This year the holidays started on Monday, Jan. 23 and will run until Monday, February 6.
Local residents eat free porridge around a table with dragon graphic at a temple during the Laba Festival in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, January 1, 2012. The Laba Festival, which falls on the eighth day of the 12th Chinese lunar month, commemorates the date of Sakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment. The tradition of eating "laba porridge" is believed to bring good fortune.Source: Reuters
Pedestrians cross the road near a dragon decoration installed for the upcoming Lunar New Year in Singapore January 16, 2012. According to brokerage CLSA. The Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, begins on January 23 and marks the start of the Year of the Dragon. Picture taken January 16, 2012.
Divers perform a dragon dance during an event to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year at the Shanghai aquarium, January 19, 2012.
Workers clean the roof of a Chinese temple ahead of Lunar New Year celebrations in Jakarta January 21, 2012. The Lunar New Year begins on January 23 and marks the start of the Year of the Dragon, according to the Chinese zodiac.Source: Reuters
The leader of dragon dance performers lifts up a dragon head during the opening ceremony of a Spring Festival Temple Fair to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year at Longtan Park in Beijing, January 22, 2012.
Amateur artists perform a fire show to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk January 22, 2012.
A local resident watches fireworks as part of Chinese new year celebrations in Shanghai January 23, 2012.
Fireworks light up the skyline of Beijing as residents celebrate the start of the Chinese new year January 23, 2012.
Soldiers perform a dragon-dance in front of Tay Kei Sek temple in Semarang, Central Java January 23, 2012.
People burn incense to pray for good fortune on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year at Yonghegong Lama Temple in Beijing January 23, 2012.
Performers on stilts and dressed in traditional costumes take part in Chinese new year celebrations at the 700-year-old Dongyue Temple in Beijing January 23, 2012. The temple is the largest of its kind in northern China for the Zhengyi school of Taoism, and was originally built by Taoist monks in the 14th century.
Actors dressed in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) costumes take part in the heaven-worshipping ceremony, in which people pray for good harvest and fortune, to celebrate the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, January 23, 2012. Sour
People light incense sticks as they prepare to pray during the first day of the Lunar New Year at Dharma Bhakti temple in Jakarta January 23, 2012.
People burn incense as they pray at the Longhua Buddhist Temple on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Shanghai January 23, 2012.
A man holds a dragon balloon outside Longhua Buddhist Temple on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Shanghai January 23, 2012.
People touch a dragon during a lion dance celebrating the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year at Chinatown in Lima January 23, 2012.
Residents carry a 'dragon', constructed using wooden benches and decorations, as they perform a dragon dance on the second day of the Chinese Lunar New Year at a village in Wuhu, Anhui province, January 24, 2012.
People hold incense sticks as they pray during the first day of the Lunar New Year at Dharma Bhakti temple in Jakarta January 23, 2012.