HOUSTON -

In the Chinese culture it's time to ring in the new year. The Chinese Lunar New Year began Sunday, ushering in the Year of the Snake.

As the Chinese calendar enters the Year of the Snake, it means a year of relative calm after a year of great change.

The Chinese community is celebrating all around the world including in Houston.

In Chinatown on Monday, lion dancers danced their way through the streets.

"I'm having a lot of fun," said on-looker Shasha Piao. "I really enjoy it. Happy Chinese New Year."

Hundreds of customers, employees, and their families at a local activity center took pictures of the celebration. They enjoyed traditional foods, like egg rolls, sticky rice cakes and pineapple, while mingling.

Members of Lee's Golden Dragon Group suited up and were ready to kick off the Chinese New Year for the crowd.

Allen Lee has been the head of Lee's Golden Dragon since 1974.

"In the old days, we say to ward off evil spirits, but now it's to bring them good luck and prosperity," he said.

Chinese New Year is the most celebrated traditional holiday on the Chinese calendar. It's a time to unite with friends and family and celebrate the opportunities coming in the New Year.

Traditionally, special red envelopes filled with a sum of money and the hope of luck and prosperity are gifted between parents, grandparents, relatives and friends.