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February 11, 2013

Lunar New Year

The celebration of the Lunar New Year is a phenomenon as global as various diaspora allows. Perhaps most well-known in the West as a Chinese celebration, the lunisolar calendar is observed in many more places than just that nation. That said, the Chinese observation is unique in that the holiday transforms the nation into a river of humanity, with a 40-day travel season that sees hundreds of millions of people board trains for home. Gathered here are images of preparations and celebrations in many parts of the world. -- Lane Turner (42 photos total)

Worshippers burn incense to pray for good fortune on the first day of Lunar New Year at Dafo temple in Chongqing, China on February 10, 2013. The Lunar New Year, known as Spring Festival in China, begins on February 10 and marks the start of the Year of the Snake there, according to the Chinese zodiac. (Stringer/Reuters)

Passengers gather in the waiting room at Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station in Shanghai on February 2, 2013. The 40-day Spring Festival travel rush is expected to accommodate about 3.41 billion travelers nationwide during the holiday, including 225 million railway passengers. (Wu Hong/EPA) #

A woman wearing a panda costume rides her train back to Cangzhou in Hefei from Beijing. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images) #

Elderly residents from the nearby Kreta Ayer district toss "Yu Sheng" (raw fish salad) ahead of the Lunar New Year at a restaurant in Chinatown in Singapore on February 1, 2013. (Edgar Su/Reuters) #

A genetically modified and auspicious white snake is displayed at the altar at the the Temple of White Snakes in Taoyuan county in Taiwan on January 9, 2013, ahead of Lunar New Year. (Wally Santana/Associated Press) #

Performers with a 238-meter-long golden dragon dance during Lunar New Year in Macau on February 10, 2013. (Carmo Correia/EPA) #

'Banh chung' or Rice cakes are gathered before boiling in Tranh Khuc village in suburban Hanoi on February 6, 2013. Banh chung is a traditional Vietnamese cake which is made from rice, bean, pork and other ingredients. Having Banh chung during Tet or Vietnamese traditional Lunar New Year is considered an essential. (Luong Thai Linh/EPA) #

Dancers from the Jin Ling Dance School perform in celebration of Lunar New Year before an NBA basketball game between the Washington Wizards and the Brooklyn Nets on February 8, 2013 in Washington. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press) #

Performers take part in a dragon dance at the Philippine Stock Exchange to mark the start of the first day of trading in the Lunar New Year in Manila on February 11, 2013. (Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man exits a shop selling Lunar New Year decorations in Hong Kong on February 5, 2013. (Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images) #

Worshippers gather at Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple on Lunar New Year to offer prayers and place joss sticks on February 10, 2013 in Singapore. (Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images) #

Shops sell lanterns and ornaments for the upcoming Lunar New Year in Yangon, Myanmar on January 31, 2013. (Lynn Bo Bo/EPA) #

Villagers place dried squid to be roasted over a burning straw bale during a winter festival in Kitakami village, Niigata prefecture, Japan on February 3, 2013. For the Japanese, early February marks the beginning of spring according to the lunar calendar. (Everett Kennedy Brown/EPA) #

Workers clean a Buddha statue in preparation for the upcoming Lunar New Year at Satya Buddha Visudhi Marga temple in Medan, North Sumatra province, Indonesia on February 5, 2013. (Dedi Sahputra/EPA) #

Cambodians buy Lunar New Year items at a street market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on February 8, 2013. (Mak Remissa/EPA) #

Dominicans launch lanterns at Guibia beach, Santo Domingo on February 8, 2013 in preparation for Lunar New Year. (Orlando Barria/EPA) #

A performer during the Lunar New Year parade in central London on February 10, 2013. (Tal Cohen/EPA) #

Folk artists prepare to perform during the opening ceremony of the Spring Festival Temple Fair at Dragon Lake Park on February 9, 2013 in Beijing. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images) #

An Indonesian man of Chinese descent holds up a bottle of oil as an offering, as he and others pray in the smoke-filled Vihara Dharma Bhakti temple on the first day of Lunar New year on February 10, 2013 in Jakarta. (Ed Wray/Getty Images) #

A diver performs a dragon dance during Lunar New Year at Beijing Aquarium on February 10, 2013 in Beijing. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #

A performer takes part in the Lunar New Year celebrations at Liberdade district in Sao Paulo, Brazil on February 2, 2013. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images) #

Decorations hang for sale in the street for Tet celebrations at a market in downtown Hanoi on February 5, 2013. (Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images) #

Travelers sleep on their seats on the train from Guangzhou to Changchun to return home for Spring Festival on January 28, 2013. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images) #

A worshipper burns incense while offering prayers at the Yong He Gong temple in Beijing on February 8, 2013. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images) #

People light a sky lantern in St. Petersburg on February 9, 2013 during Lunar New Year celebrations on February 10. (Olga Maltseva/AFP/Getty Images) #

Performers dance during a parade in front of Paris City Hall on February 10, 2013 to celebrate Lunar New Year. (Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images) #

Visitors admire the illuminations during the Zigong International Lantern Festival before Lunar New Year celebrations in Zigong, China on February 3, 2013. (Associated Press) #

An ethnic Tibetan couple prostrates as they pray during Tibetan new year at the Labrang Monastery in Xiahe county, Gansu Province, China on February 11, 2013. Tibetans in a northwest part of China which has been a focus of self-immolation protests against Chinese rule marked a low-key Lunar New Year, with many saying celebrations were inappropriate while the burnings continued. At least 20 people have set themselves on fire in the region around Xiahe in Gansu province over the last year. The Tibetan lunar new year is supposed to be a time for celebration, but many Tibetans who spoke to Reuters in Xiahe said there would be no entertainment this year. (Carlos Barria/Reuters) #

A man wipes the tears of his partner as they prepare to take trains back to their homes outside the Beijing West Railway Station on February 3, 2013. (Jason Lee/Reuters) #

Barbers shave villagers ahead of the Lunar New Year at a market in Juancheng in China's Shandong province on February 8, 2013. (Stringer/Reuters) #

A performer inserts a live snake through his nose and mouth during a performance at the Ditan Temple Fair celebrating Lunar New Year in Beijing on February 11, 2013. (Petar Kujundzic/Reuters) #

Fireworks illuminate the skyline during Lunar New Year on February 9, 2013 in Beijing. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #

Men light fireworks as residents celebrate the start of Lunar New Year in Shanghai on February 9, 2013. (Carlos Barria/Reuters) #

Photographers take pictures during fireworks over Victoria Harbor celebrating Lunar New Year in Hong Kong on February 11, 2013. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters) #

Fireworks explode over Kek Lok Si temple as part of the upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations on Penang Island, Malaysia. (Gary Chuah/Associated Press) #

Villagers over 70 years old practice "Yang Ge", a type of Chinese folk dance for the upcoming Lunar New Year in Ruicheng, Shanxi province, China on January 19, 2013. (China Daily/Reuters)#

Lunar New Year decorations are displayed on a window at a shopping mall in Hong Kong on February 3, 2013. (Vincent Yu/Associated Press)#

A worker carries circle incense sticks prepared for Lunar New Year celebrations in Tangerang on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia on February 4, 2013. (Achmad Ibrahim/Associated Press)#

A woman originally from North Korea looks north after a memorial service for her North Korean ancestors near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea on February 10, 2013, on the occasion of Seolnal, the Korean Lunar New Year's day. (Lee Jae-Won/Reuters)#

North Korean girls join a traditional maypole ribbon dance at Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square to celebrate the Lunar New Year on February 10, 2013. (Jon Chol Jin/Associated Press)#

Restaurant workers stop to watch performers celebrating the Lunar New Year as they pass by the restaurant in Chinatown in Lima, Peru on February 9, 2013. (Karel Navarro/Associated Press)#

Dancers rest before resuming a dragon dance performance to celebrate Lunar New Year in Manila's Chinatown on February 10, 2013. (Cheryl Ravelo/Reuters)#


 
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