Are you quick-witted, curious, innovative, and mischievous? If so, you may have been born in the Chinese year of the monkey, which has come around once again.
A worker arranges toy monkeys in a shop on Feb. 4, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. | (REUTERS/Olivia Harris)
The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is China's most important traditional festival and the country completely shuts down so families can enjoy weeks of fireworks, feasts, and festivals together. Preparing for such a widespread event is a frenzy unto itself. For months, workers from the mainland to Indonesia and Thailand toil away, hand-making traditional treats and dishes, building massive animal masks, practicing performances, and putting together all of those red lanterns for millions to enjoy.
In honor of the Chinese New Year, which begins Monday, enjoy a behind-the-celebration look at this year's Spring Festival.
A man makes the traditional "Matang" candy on Jan. 19, in Yuqing County, Zunyi, China. | (REUTERS/China Daily)
A member of a Chinese opera troupe applies make-up before a performance at a shopping mall on Feb. 4 ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations in Bangkok, Thailand. | (REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha)
A villager prepares sweet potato vermicelli on Jan. 26, in southwest China's Guangzi Zhuang Autonomous Region. | (Lu Boan/Xinhua Press/Corbis)
A worker paints a large incense stick on Jan. 27, in Medan, Indonesia. | (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
A man works on masks used for traditional lion dances at a workshop on Jan. 21, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. | (REUTERS/Olivia Harris)
A traditional Fai Chun sign, which boasts phrases of good luck and prosperity, is hand-written on Feb. 4, in Hong Kong. | (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
Workers prepare mooncake dough on Feb. 1, in Tangerang, Indonesia. | (REUTERS/Beawiharta)
Folk artist Zhao Yongqi paints a monkey mask at his studio on Jan. 29, in Beijing, China. | (REUTERS/Jason Lee)
A worker makes lanterns at a factory on Jan. 19, in Boai county, Henan province, China. | (REUTERS/China Daily)