26 beautiful photos from  Lunar New Year celebrations around the globe.

The Lunar New Year is China's biggest holiday. Around the world, families are coming together to celebrate.

While often referred to as Chinese New Year or The Spring Festival, the celebration extends far beyond mainland China, with festivities and religious and cultural events occurring around the globe. 

Even New York Public schools have today off to celebrate, and on Feb 6, 2016, the Empire State Building lit up in red and gold to celebrate the new year.  


The Empire State Building lit in red and gold in honor of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Photo by Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images.

Preparation for Lunar New Year begins months in advance with plenty of decorations, food, and traditional gifts.

From aromatic flowers and spices to colorful dragons and hong bao (the traditional bright red envelopes filled with money and given to children) Lunar New Year is a feast for the senses. 

Here's 25 amazing photos of the hard work that goes into these celebrations, and what it looks like when all that planning pays off: 

1. In Hanoi, Vietnam, vendors begin selling vegetables and produce ahead of the celebrations.

Photo by Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images.

2. People shop for red envelopes that hold the lucky-money that is traditionally given to relatives and friends.

Photo by Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images.

3. These amazing dragon puppets are ready to give it their all as they parade down the streets.

Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images.

4. It's a sea of red and gold as a woman shops for Lunar New Year decorations in Kuala Lampur's Chinatown.

A woman shops for Lunar New Year decorations in Kuala Lampur's Chinatown. Photo by Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images.

5. Bulbs with eight stems are considered good luck — that's what these customers are looking for at a flower market in Hong Kong.

Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images.

6. Lunar New Year decorating pro-tip: One can never have too many red lanterns.

A worker carries lanterns in Changzhou, China. Photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images.

7. Seriously. So many red lanterns.

A man decorates trees with red lanterns in a park in Changzhou, China. Photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images.

8. In Beijing, performers dressed as imperial guards rehearse for a Lunar New Year ceremony.

Photo by Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images.

9. Hundreds of millions of people in China alone travel to their hometowns to celebrate Lunar New Year with their families.

Passengers pack a Shanghai rail station as they wait to board their trains home. Photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images.

10. The Lunar New Year is the largest annual migration of humans, causing major lines and headaches across China.

Crowds outside the Guangzhou railway station in Guangzhou, China. Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

11. Travel was complicated this year by wintery weather conditions that left many revelers temporarily stranded.

Photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images.

12. Trains across China were completely packed, with no seats to spare.

Photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images.

13. This Lunar New Year marks the beginning of The Year of the Monkey.

Plush monkeys at a shop in Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown. Photo by Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images.

The Chinese calendar operates on a rotating zodiac of 12 animals, and each year is assigned a new animal. Last year was the Year of the Goat and this year is the Year of the Monkey. According to tradition, people born in the Year of the Monkey are considered curious, witty, strong-willed and cunning.

14. Here, a decoration bears the image of a monkey (and a Pepsi logo) in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Photo by Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images.

15. Last night, celebrations were held around the world to welcome the Year of the Monkey with Lunar New Year events.

Prayers at a temple in Cambodia's Kandal province to mark the start of the new year. Photo by Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images.

Like the Gregorian New Year, the biggest celebration of Lunar New Year occurs on New Year's Eve. Festivities often occur for 15 days, with many traditional elements including dragon dancers, paper lanterns, traditional foods, and prayer. 

16. In Latha Township in Myanmar, men performed a dragon dance.

Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images.

17. In Los Angeles, CA, a couple prayed with joss sticks at a temple.

Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images.

18. Thean Hou temple was decorated with red lanterns in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Photo by Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images.

19. In Beijing, people visited temples to burn incense for good luck.

Photo by Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images.

20. People in Kuala Lumpur did the same at their temples.

Photo by Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images.

21. Fireworks lit up the night in Dandong, China.

Photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images.

22. The New York City skyline had a Lunar New Year fireworks show of its own.

Photo by Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images.

23. In Myanmar, crowds gathered to watch dragon dance performances.

Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images.

24. At a temple on Indonesia's Bali Island, people offered prayers at a temple.

Photo by Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP/Getty Images.

25. In Dandong, China, a man set off fireworks of his own.

Photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images.

26. At a temple in Hong Kong, used joss sticks (incense) piled up, evidence of yet another successful and happy Lunar New Year celebration.

Used joss sticks thrown away at a temple in Hong Kong. Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images.

Wishing all who celebrate a safe and happy new year!

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Eight months into the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are feeling the weight of it growing heavier and heavier. We miss normal life. We miss our friends. We miss travel. We miss not having to mentally measure six feet everywhere we go.

Maybe that's what was on Edmund O'Leary's mind when he tweeted on Friday. Or maybe he had some personal issues or challenges he was dealing with. After all, it's not like people didn't struggle pre-COVID. Now, we just have the added stress of a pandemic on top of our normal mental and emotional upheavals.

Whatever it was, Edmund decided to reach out to Twitter and share what he was feeling.

"I am not ok," he wrote. "Feeling rock bottom. Please take a few seconds to say hello if you see this tweet. Thank you."

O'Leary didn't have a huge Twitter following, but somehow his tweet started getting around quickly. Response after response started flowing in from all over the world, even from some famous folks. Thousands of people seemed to resonate with Edmund's sweet and honest call for help and rallied to send him support and good cheer.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

The subject of late-term abortions has been brought up repeatedly during this election season, with President Trump making the outrageous claim that Democrats are in favor of executing babies.

This message grossly misrepresents what late-term abortion actually is, as well as what pro-choice advocates are actually "in favor of." No one is in favor of someone having a specific medical procedure—that would require being involved in someone's individual medical care—but rather they are in favor of keeping the government out of decisions about specific medical procedures.

Pete Buttigieg, who has become a media surrogate for the Biden campaign—and quite an effective one at that—addressed this issue in a Fox News town hall when he was on the campaign trail himself. When Chris Wallace asked him directly about late-term abortions, Buttigieg answered Wallace's questions is the best way possible.

"Do you believe, at any point in pregnancy, whether it's at six weeks or eight weeks or 24 weeks or whenever, that there should be any limit on a woman's right to have an abortion?" Wallace asked.

Keep Reading Show less

When it comes to the topic of race, we all have questions. And sometimes, it honestly can be embarrassing to ask perfectly well-intentioned questions lest someone accuse you of being ignorant, or worse, racist, for simply admitting you don't know the answer.

America has a complicated history with race. For as long as we've been a country, our culture, politics and commerce have been structured in a way to deny our nation's past crimes, minimize the structural and systemic racism that still exists and make the entire discussion one that most people would rather simply not have.

For example, have you ever wondered what's really behind the term Black Pride? Is it an uplifting phrase for the Black community or a divisive term? Most people instinctively put the term "White Pride" in a negative context. Is there such a thing as non-racist, racial pride for white people? And while we're at it, what about Asian people, Native Americans, and so on?

Yes, a lot of people raise these questions with bad intent. But if you've ever genuinely wanted an answer, either for yourself or so that you best know how to handle the question when talking to someone with racist views, writer/director Michael McWhorter put together a short, simple and irrefutable video clip explaining why "White Pride" isn't a real thing, why "Black Pride" is and all the little details in between.


Keep Reading Show less