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Year of the Horse: Chinese New Year Customs in Pictures
January 30, 2014 17:25 GMT
Lanterns are hung in a temple ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Legend has it that red lanterns scared away a mythical beast, and this tale is celebrated every New Year.
Members of a family toast during New Year's Eve dinner at a home in Beijing. The most important custom is a Reunion Dinner on New Year's Eve. Chinese families will get together for a huge meal, always centred around a fish dish
People shop for mandarins at a market in Xi'an. Mandarins with their leaves still attached are believed to bring happiness for the New Year - as long as they are displayed in the home in even numbers (uneven numbers bring bad luck)
A girl being carried by her grandmother points to a lantern at a market in Nanjin. New Year's markets sell all the items families need to decorate their homes at this time of year, such as fireworks and lanterns
People burn incense to worship the God of Wealth at Guiyuan Temple in Wuhan. It is traditional to make offerings to the God of Wealth on the fifth day of the lunar new year
A woman burns incense as she pray for good fortune at Yonghegong Lama Temple in Beijing
Performers dressed as Guan Yu, the God of Wealth, greet spectators during a parade in Hong Kong. General Guan Yu is considered to be China's greatest military leader and is known variously as the God of War, the God of Success and the God of Wealth
Worshippers throw firecrackers at a shirtless man in Taitung, Taiwan. Fireworks are used to drive away evil and to celebrate the New Year
Dancers perform a fire dragon dance in a shower of molten iron in Beijing. Fireworks are let off to draw the attention of the God of Wealth, thus ensuring good fortune
A shopkeeper selling festive couplets waits for customers ahead of the Lunar New Year at Chinatown in Singapore. Many people celebrate Chinese New Year by decorating their homes with auspicious phrases and couplets on the theme of happiness, luck or wealth
Labourers hang red chilli-shaped decorations at Beishan Park in Jilin. The colour red symbolises fire, which is believed to drive away bad luck
A woman burns a monetary paper offering at a temple in Bangkok. The burning of spirit money allows it to be transferred to ancestors.
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