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Chinese New Year in pictures
February 14, 2013, 3:52 pm


Firecrackers and fireworks are traditionally set off on New Year’s Eve and on Dragon Boat Festival, the fifth day of the New Year.


The Spring Festival is the most important festival for the Chinese and entails family reunions, just like a traditional Christmas gathering.


Festive activities such as lion dancing, dragon lantern dancing, lantern festivals and temple fairs are held for days.


It is the busiest time of the year for the China transport networks, both road and rail. The number of road passengers was expected to hit 46.2 million on the fourth-day of the week-long Spring Festival holiday, as many Chinese return to work from home-reunions.


Chinese New Year originated in the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BC – c. 1100 BC) from the people’s sacrifice to gods and ancestors at the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one.


The Spring Festival falls on the 1st day of the 1st lunar month, often one month later than the Gregorian calendar.


According to a statement from the White House, US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama sent their “warmest wishes to all those who will be celebrating the Lunar New Year this Sunday, February 10th.”


Celebrations for Chinese New Year take place all over the world.


Anything with a snake theme is in vogue this year – from sportswear to gadgets and accessories, to fashion, footwear and even stamps – as the country edges nearer the Year ofthe Snake on the traditional Chinese calendar.

 All images are courtesy of Xinhua