Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year 2018 begins on Feb. 16. Chinese artists perform a dragon dance at a local amusement park during celebrations for the Lunar New Year in Beijing, China, Feb. 19, 2015. Getty Images/ Kevin Frayer

The Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, falls on Friday and this day is one of the most important traditional celebrations in China and other countries with a large Chinese population. Each year corresponds to one of 12 different zodiac signs and animals — the rooster, monkey, dragon, tiger, goat, dog, horse, snake, ox, rat, pig and rabbit. This year is the year of the dog.

The Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year as it is based on the lunar calendar. It normally falls between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20 and lasts about 15 days, until the full moon arrives with the Festival of Lanterns.

The earliest-known records of the celebrations date back to as early as the 14th century B.C., when the Shang Dynasty was in power, according to the History Channel.

Chinese New Year
Fireworks are seen exploding over Victoria Harbour during Lunar New Year celebrations in Hong Kong on Feb. 9, 2016. Getty Images

The Chinese New Year festival is marked with red lanterns, fireworks and parades. People clean their homes and decorate them with red posters containing poetic verses. The New Year’s Eve dinner, called the “reunion dinner,” is said to be the most important meal of the year for the Chinese. In the first five days of the New Year, people eat long noodles to symbolize long life. As the festivities end, round dumplings shaped like the full moon are shared as a sign of family unity and perfection.

Below are some greetings to share on this day, courtesy Access Chinese:

福禄寿 (fú lù shòu) - Happiness, Prosperity, Longevity

狗年大吉 (gǒu nián dàjí) - Wish you luck in the Year of the Dog

恭祝健康、幸运,新年快乐 (gōngzhù jiànkāng, xìngyùn, xīnnián kuàilè) - Good health, good luck and much happiness throughout the year.

恭贺新禧,万事如意。(gōnghèxīnxǐ, wànshìrúyì) - Best wishes for the holidays and happiness throughout the New Year.

恭贺新禧,祝身体健康、事业发达。(Gōnghè xīnxǐ, zhù shēntǐ jiànkāng, shìyè fādá) - Happy New Year, I wish you good health and lasting prosperity.

新想事成 (xīnxiǎng shì chéng) - May all your wishes come true