The Lunar New Year was celebrated across the Asian world, as well as in Asian communities in places such as Mexico City, over the weekend with dragon dances, spiritual observations and fireworks. People in the Chinese capital, Beijing, gathered together and set off fireworks. Firecrackers are believed to scare off evil spirits and entice the god of wealth to people's doorsteps once New Year's Day arrives.
Hundreds of people gathered in the historic Chinatown district of the port town of Yokohama, Japan, with a countdown to ring in the start of the year of the monkey. The Spring Festival in Yokohama's Chinatown has become an increasingly popular event for Chinese tourists, who visit Japan during the Lunar New Year holidays. Local residents and tourists visited the Kanteibyo Taoism temple, a sanctuary for Chinese residents in the area to pray for good luck by bowing and burning letters.
The Mexican capital joined the rest of the world in celebrating the Lunar New Year with a ceremony marking the beginning of the year of the monkey. Thousands of residents of Mexico City attended a parade featuring dragons at the Monument to the Revolution and a ceremony at the Mexico City Museum of Cultures. At the ceremonies, dances inspired by the animal kingdom were performed, as were martial arts exhibitions.
The Chinese year of the monkey officially began on 8 February and lasts until 27 January 2017.