Hundreds of people were at Los Angeles' Chinatown on Sunday night. There were street performances and fireworks to ring in the new year. People hoping for good luck visited temples and lit incense.
From Beijing to Bangkok and Seoul to Singapore, people watched street performances of lion and dragon dances.
The year 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, associated with wealth, power and courage. In ancient times the dragon was a symbol reserved for the Chinese emperor, and it is considered to be an extremely auspicious sign.
For many, the Lunar New Year is the biggest family reunion of the year for which people endured hours of cramped travel on trains and buses to get home.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.