Happy Lunar New Year (a.k.a. "Chinese New Year"). This year belongs to the Rat, which was welcomed in ancient times as a protector and bringer of material prosperity.
The beginning of the lunar year was celebrated as far back as 221 B.C., during the Qin Dynasty in China. According to legend, in ancient China, the Nián was a man-eating beast from the mountains that came out every winter to prey on humans. The people later believed that the Nian was sensitive to loud noises and the color red, so they scared it away with explosions, fireworks and the liberal use of the color red. These customs led to the first New Year celebrations, and influenced the way we celebrate the New Year today.