February 8 is the first day in the lunar calendar this year, which welcomes the beginning of Spring. Celebrating the spring festival has been the most important annual event for thousands of years in China. We can join in the joyous celebration with these 10 highlights from around the world this year.

1. China ushers in Chinese Lunar New Year with bell-tolling ceremony and fireworks:

2. Watch fantastic fireworks in New York City:

3. Stroll along the street scenes in Singapore's Chinatown:

4. Sing "Gong Xi Gong Xi", a very popular new year's song, with the cute  Badanamu children's toy characters in this English-subbed video:

5. Journey with Clifford HartU.S. Consul General in Hong Kong and Macau, in a funny skit recalling the ancient Chinese tale Journey to the West, based on a real-life Tang-dynasty monk's quest to visit India. In the famous novel, the author imagined three memorable fictional companions for the monk, Monkey King, Pig Monster, and Friar Sand. (Applause to Mr. Hart for speaking the difficult Cantonese dialect. Since I only speak Mandarin, I have to read the English subtitles too.)

6. Eat and eat a lot! We can't celebrate Chinese New Year without eating. Here are 8 dishes from food blogger Angel Wong:

7. Join NBA player Jeremy Lin at his table at home:

8. Share the joyous excitement of Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg in announcing their baby daughter Max's Chinese name: Chen Mingyu (陳明宇). Ming means light or tomorrow. Yu means the universe. Together, Mingyu expresses the hope for a brighter tomorrow for the world. The Facebook founder also said he invited employees to a lunar new year celebration where chefs from China cooked special dishes. (That sounds so yummy! Can I work at FB too?)

9. Show off your linguistic ability by saying "Happy New Year" in Chinese: Xin Nian Kuai Le  新年快樂! Can you hear Roy Chiu (Marry Me or Not?) say it in his greeting?

10. Give red envelopes! If you have young children, you can put some little candies or a dollar bill (of any denomination) in a red envelope. When I grew up in Taiwan, this was the one opportunity a year when I got serious money to add to my savings, as I visited relatives and family friends for new year's greetings. If you are a grown adult making your own income, remember to give your parents a red envelope. You'll make them really happy!

新年快樂!  Happy Chinese New Year! Happy Lunar New Year! Happy Year of the Monkey!

 ~ NancyZdramaland

(Photo credit as referenced or tagged)

(Cover image via)