LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Happy Year of the Pig! Tuesday is the first day of the Lunar New Year, and Asian communities all over Southern California are celebrating.

In Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles, crowds gathered Monday night to ring in the new year with firecrackers to scare off the bad luck and a traditional lion dance to bring good fortune in the upcoming year.

The Lunar New Year is known by many as Chinese New Year, but is celebrated as Tet in the Vietnamese community.

In many Asian cultures, pigs symbolize wealth and a beautiful personality. The Lunar New Year celebrations usually include a large family dinner, gifts of cash in red — considered to be lucky — envelopes to children, prayers at local temples.

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