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Chinese New Year in 30 stunning images

  • Parades and costumes

    New Year's brings with it various parades over approximately 15 days of celebrations. Chinese New Year parades happen across the world, with performers dressing up to represent the incoming zodiac year or performing lion and dragon dances. Pictured above, parade performers dress up to welcome the Year of the Monkey in 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland.

  • Folk pageantry

    One way that celebrating countries pay tribute to their ancient folklore is by performing reenactments during celebrations. Folk pageantry customs can vary depending on the culture, but it's a fun way for people to celebrate their ancient stories. Seen above, Cai Shen Ye (God of Fortune) gives red pockets to worshipers at the Hong San Ko Tee Temple during celebrations in Surabaya, Indonesia.

  • Wishing tree

    The wishing tree is another Chinese tradition that is intended to usher in good luck for the year. Both tourists and locals flock to temples to write down their wishes for the new year on paper. The paper is then tied to an orange (for extra luck) and thrown onto the tree's branches. According to legend, if the orange successfully sticks in the branches, the wish will come true. Above, people throw their wishes at a wishing tree as the community celebrates in Semarang, Indonesia.

  • Night markets

    The night market is a temporary market that allows all who celebrate to gather and share meals, enjoy performances, and shop. In this slide, residents visit a night market to mark the Chinese New Year in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China.

  • Cultural attractions

    Chinese New Year has several cultural attractions that draw in tourists from around the world, keen to participate in the ancient traditions of the Lunar New Year. In Singapore, pineapple tarts attract hungry travelers, while Malaysia's boasts one of the oldest and largest temples. Pictured above, devotees arrive to offer prayers at Malaysia's famous Thean Hou temple decorated with red lanterns in Kuala Lumpur.

    [Pictured: Devotees arrive to offer prayers at the Thean Hou temple decorated with red lanterns in Kuala Lumpur.]

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  • Cultural performances

    In addition to the many parades and dances performed within the days-long celebrations, there are also cultural performances, including operas, stilts acts, and ballets. Here, an actor performs a Cantonese opera in Hong Kong during New Year Celebrations.

  • Regional cultural traditions

    While Chinese New Year is celebrated worldwide, every country and region has its own unique traditions. A Chinese blacksmith, pictured above, is preparing to throw the molten metal against a cold stone wall to create sparks that appear like fireworks in Nuanquan, Hebei Province, China. This is just one example of a regional tradition to bring in the new year.

  • Entertainment with family

    New Year's is nothing if not a time to spend with the whole family. Because of this, many of the celebratory traditions involve children, including the maze at the Tang Paradise Park (pictured above) in Xi'an, China. Parades, markets, and performances are often intended to include the whole family.

  • Jumping over the bonfire

    In some cultures, as the celebrations wind down, people participate in the tradition of jumping over a bonfire. This signifies leaping into the new year and leaving the old year behind. Pictured in this slide, is people are jumping over the bonfire to celebrate the lantern festival in Haikou, China.

  • Lantern festival

    The last day of Chinese New Year is marked with the lantern festival on the first full moon of the new year. The festival marks the reunion of family and the return of spring and can be traced back to 2,000 years ago during the Han dynasty. Lanterns are decorated with drawings and wishes for the new year and then lit to float off into the sky. Above, Taiwanese bystanders watch as a string of sky lanterns are released in Taipei, Taiwan.

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