February 8th, 2016 was the start of the Chinese new year. It's based on Chinese astrology and each year represents an animal sign and one of the five elements: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, or Earth.
2016 is the year of the Fire Monkey. It's a big deal. Most of Asia celebrates the Chinese new year in some form or another. Vietnam calls their new year Tết, but they follow the same principles. Tết is short for Tết Nguyên Đán, which stands for "Feast of the First Morning of the First Day". I was lucky enough to experience the build up and celebration of their most important holiday. To me it felt like one part Christmas, one part New Year's Eve, and one part spring cleaning, all wrapped into one.