In many Asian countries, there are big celebrations going on for the lunar new year (Tet, in Viet Nam). It’s the main time off that most people get each year, and many of the purchases and gifts also last throughout the year, including the “lucky money” (hong bao, or li shi). It’s a very noisy celebration, with firecrackers and drumming scaring away the evil spirits as the year changes. I enjoyed going for dim sum in Edmonton’s Chinatown, where many dancers were visiting all of the businesses, accompanied by drummers, and firecrackers were set off outside the businesses many times.
The link is a great infographic about the lunar new year.