Marissa Karlen, 7, shows off a Chinese dragon puppet Tuesday at the Austin Davis Public Library in Odessa. The Chinese New Year began Jan. 22, the day of the new moon, and will end on the full moon 15 days later. The Chinese year is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days, so in order to "catch up" with the solar calendar, the Chinese insert an extra month once every few years. The practice is the same as adding an extra day in leap years and is why, according to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year. This is the Year of the Monkey in the 19-year cycle.
Meilyn Paton, 2, looks over books about Chinese New Year at the Austin Davis Public Library in Odessa on Tuesday. The library offered displays, stories and hands-on activities to teach children about the holiday.