February 8 is a big day this year. Lundi Gras (the day before Mardi Gras), and Chinese New Year. This year, it is the year of the Fire Monkey, with the lucky flowers of chrysanthemums and alliums. The London Telegraph is full of interesting facts about the celebration.
The most basic fact? While our zodiac system is divided into 12 months, the Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 years. A bit of ancient traditions and facts are gathered on Huffington Post.
There are many Chinatowns around the world and 10 of the largest are shown here.
The Chinese used to celebrate by throwing joss paper into the upper branches of a wishing tree, the most famous of which is located in Hong Kong at the Tin Hau Temple. Nowadays people still visit the trees, which are two banyans. But as you can see, the tree has had to carry one too many wishes over the years.
It will be celebrated around the world by more than 1 billion people, and more Chinese tidbits from Refinery29.
Carnival is underway as well celebrated by many millions. 2 million alone hit the streets in Brazil, with 587 street parties, according to Time Magazine.
Three million visitors hit the streets of Venice, and many of them carry on the tradition of wearing masks. Although Mussolini banned the celebration, artists brought it back.
Is it just me or do you feel like you’re missing a party? I’m ready to put on my finest and wear All the Fish in the Sea (see below).
First photo: Cabinet of American illustration (Library of Congress)
Second photo: Dominik Gehl
Third photo: Rosie Tulips via Flickr