Chinese communities across the world celebrated the first day of the lunar year and of their New Year, on Monday, Jan. 23. Considered the luckiest of Chinese years, the Year of the Dragon re-started, after a traditional 12-year cycle.

Millions of Chinese nationals traveled back home, to celebrate the New Year in a traditional manner, with their family and friends. In addition, there were also celebrations across the world, which began with fireworks displays and ended with a feast of different kinds of foods.

People from Beijing to Bangkok and Seoul to Singapore, hoping for good luck, success and happiness in this Dragon year, are visiting temples and lighting incense sticks and setting off firecrackers and watching street performances. In New York City's Chinatown district, people set off 600,000 rounds of firecrackers to celebrate the New Year.

The events and festivities were attended by the city's Senator, Kristen Gillibrand, who, along with other officials, wished everyone a Happy New Year.

Incidentally, in Chinese mythology, the dragon is considered a very auspicious sign.

The Chinese New Year festivities traditionally last for 15 days. The festival begins on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar and ends on the date of the full moon.

This year the holidays started on Monday, Jan. 23 and will run until Monday, February 6.

Also Read: Chinese New Year 2012: Rabbit Makes Way for Dragon [PHOTOS]