Thousands of people lined the streets in the heart of Chinatown Feb. 5 to watch the 105th anniversary parade celebrating the Chinese New Year.
The parade kicked off with a 100-foot paper dragon zig-zagging through Cermak and Wentworth street, followed by Miss Chicago Chinatown 2016, Chinatown American Legion Post, marching bands and fireworks.
The new year period begins in the middle of the last month of the year and ends around the middle of the following month. This period is during the second new moon after the winter solstice, according to CNN.
For every new year, the Chinese calendar assigns one of the 12 zodiac animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, money, rooster, dog or pig.
The years of 1957 and 2017 fall under the years assigned to the fire rooster. People born during each animal’s year tend to have the same personality traits as the animal, according to Chinese legend.
The Chinese New Year is traditionally the most important festival during the year, according to History.com.
The new year, sometimes referred to as the Spring Festival, is often celebrated by families cleaning and decorating their households, and also through ritual sacrifices for gods and families ancestors of food and paper icons, and extended family reunions.
“Hongbao,” a red envelope filled with cash given to children and single adults, is also a tradition celebrated around the new year. But in recent years, the gift-giving custom has gone digital, according to CNN.
The new year celebrations end with a lantern festival. Chicago’s Chinese Lantern Festival will take place on Feb. 12 inside Crystal Gardens in Navy Pier at 12 p.m.