Millions of people welcomed the Year of the Monkey on Monday, 8 February, which marks the beginning of the New Year in the Chinese calendar.

Revellers welcomed the Year of the Monkey with prayers, fireworks, dances and fun celebrations. The Chinese community considers New Year to be the biggest and most important festival, and to mark the beginning of the New Year a huge number of Chinese nationals across the world go back to their home country.

The Chinese New Year, which is also called Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is celebrated for 15 days. The 15-day celebration ends with the Lantern Festival, which is also called the Shangyuan Festival.

People across the country visited temples to mark the first day of the New Year. Thousands of artists performed in Beijing at the opening ceremony of the Chinese New Year. A huge fireworks display in Beijing welcomed the first day of the Year of the Monkey.

Check out the photos below:

Chinese New Year
People burn incense as they pray for good fortune at the beginning of the first day of Chinese Lunar New Year, at Yuanmiaoguan temple in Huizhou, Guangdong province, February 8, 2016.REUTERS/Stringer
Chinese New Year
Traditional dancers perform the lion dance during the opening ceremony of a temple fair in Ditan Park at the beginning of Chinese Lunar New Year in Beijing, China, February 8, 2016.REUTERS/Stringer
Chinese New Year
Fireworks explode as people celebrate on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year, in Beijing, China, February 7, 2016.REUTERS/Stringer
Chinese New Year
An aerial view of Beijing on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year, China, February 7, 2016.REUTERS/Stringer
Chinese New Year
People burn incense as they pray for good fortune on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, at a temple in Chengdu, Sichuan province, February 8, 2016.REUTERS/Stringer TPX
Chinese New Year
A man prays in a temple decorated to celebrate Chinese New Year at Samut Prakan province outside Bangkok February 7, 2016.REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Chinese New Year
A dragon dance is performed around spectators welcoming the Chinese New Year at the Chinatown in Manila February 7, 2016.REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Chinese New Year
A girl places incense sticks in a shrine at a temple decorated with lanterns to celebrate Chinese New Year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, February 7, 2016.REUTERS/Olivia Harris
Chinese New Year 2016
A woman poses in front of a monkey-shaped installation set up for celebrating the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year of the Monkey ahead of the temple fair in Ditan Park, also known as the Temple of Earth, in Beijing, China, February 5, 2016.REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Chinese New Year 2016
A giant dragon sculpture is pictured at a shopping mall ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations in Bangkok, Thailand, February 4, 2016.REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Chinese New Year
A worshipper dressed as a monkey makes her first offering inside Wong Tai Sin Temple, one of the busiest temples in Hong Kong, China February 7, 2016, on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year of Monkey.REUTERS/Liau Chung-ren