San Francisco celebrates start of Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year started Monday and San Francisco kicked off the celebrations with a bang. 

Firecrackers were set off in the city's Chinatown to celebrate and to drive away evil spirits. There were also lion dancers and a dragon. 

"This is a great time for our city and a great time for our entire Asian community," said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. 

"For the next couple of weeks this will be a tremendous celebration for our families, our children, our relatives and our friends."

2016 is the year of the Monkey and according to Chinese legend, the monkey is clever, innovative and restless. 

The city's annual Chinese New Year Parade will take place on Saturday, February 20th.