February 14th was the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year. It is also the beginning of the Chinese Spring Festival, with celebrations and observations by ethnic Chinese and others around the world, welcoming in the Year of the Tiger. Conservationists are hoping to capitalize on the Year of the Tiger by calling attention to the plight of the endangered big cats.
Passengers queue to buy train tickets to go home at the Shanghai Railway Station January 26, 2010. China's railways expected to carry 210 million passengers during the 40-day travel peak as people flock home for the traditional Spring Festival holiday, according to the Ministry of Railway.
Lion dancers perform for a small amount of money as Muslim women walk past at a market in China Town in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010. Ethnic Chinese communities in the world's most populous Muslim country are preparing to celebrate the start of the Lunar Year of the Tiger.
A visitor looks at a crystal tiger which was made up of 955 steel wires and 12,888 small crystal balls at a department store in Shanghai February 4, 2010. The artwork, which is the size of an actual tiger, was designed as a gift for the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Tiger.
A few of the 300 residents taking part in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people painting tigers in multiple locations gather around a tiger sculpture by Chinese sculptor Yuan Xikun at Beijing Zoo February 6, 2010. The event was held ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Tiger.
Customers walk underneath Chinese New Year decorations at a market in Hong Kong on February 6, 2010.
A Thai worker puts the final touches of a display of tigers for the upcoming Lunar New Year festival at the shopping mall in Bangkok on February 7, 2010.
Chinese shadow play performers rehearse for a Lunar New Year show in Beijing on Feb. 7, 2010.
Stall holders wear 'Year of the Tiger' outfits at a fair in Hong Kong on Feb. 8, 2010.
Koreans spin fire cans during 'Jwibulnoli' a South Korean folk game at Han River on Feb. 8, 2010 in Seoul, South Korea. The event is part of a 'Daeboreum' a Korean holiday that celebrates the first full moon of the lunar new year.
A salesperson wears a tiger-shaped balloon on sale at a Lunar New Year market in Hong Kong February 9, 2010, five days before the celebration of the Chinese Year of Tiger.
Children of Qiang ethnic minority group attend a celebration to mark the upcoming Spring Festival or the Chinese New Year, at a resettlement area for Sichuan earthquake survivors on February 11, 2010 in Qionglai of Sichuan Province, China. The quake-stricken Qiang people held the 'Hundred Families Feast' to celebrate the first Spring Festival since they were relocated to the Youzha Township of Qionglai City from Wenchuan County. Chinese people are preparing for the lunar new year of Tiger, which will fall on February 14, 2010.
A performer plays the role of the emperor during a re-enactment of an ancient ceremony of Qing Dynasty emperors praying for good harvest and fortune at the Temple of Earth on February 13, 2010 in Beijing, China.
People using a Chinese Lion costume walk during the celebrations of the Chinese New Year in Lima, Peru Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010.
Yu Ying, an ethnic Chinese, 16, burns prayer papers during Chinese New Year at a temple in Sepang outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on February 14, 2010.
Worshipers light incense at the Yonghe Gong (Lama Temple) on the first day of the Chinese New Year in Beijing, China, on Sunday Feb. 14, 2010.
People parade in front of Paris townhall with a giant Dragon on February 14, 2010 at the start of the annual Chinese New year festivities inaugurating the Year of the Tiger in the French capital. Between 600.000 and 700.000 Chinese or people from Chinese origin live in France with some 50% of them in the Paris region.
A girl blows snow off a railing at Wuquanshan temple in Lanzhou, China on the first day of the Chinese New Year, February 14, 2010.
Fireworks explode behind financial office buildings near the Victoria Harbor to celebrate the Chinese new year in Hong Kong on Monday, Feb. 15, 2010.
Chinese men perform a fire dragon dance at Happy Valley temple fair celebrating Chinese New Year in Beijing on February 15, 2010.
A silhouetted man looks on as people perform a Lion dance during celebrations of the Chinese New Year at Chinatown neighborhood in Panama City, Monday, Feb. 15, 2010.
Visitors ride on the Apollo Wheel at the Happy Valley Park during the Chinese New Year holidays in Beijing, China on February 17, 2010.
A villager, dressed in traditional costumes, walks to a performance during a New Year celebration on the outskirts of Wuhu, Anhui province, China on February 17, 2010.
A man looks on under a display of lanterns in Shanghai on February 18, 2010 during the Spring Festival, or Lunar New Year. The Chinese are currently in the midst of Spring Festival, a week-long holiday marking the beginning of the new year which sees families around the country of 1.3 billion reunite and attend traditional temple fairs.
A young girl smiles as she catches confetti, Saturday Feb. 20, 2010 in Singapore, during the Chingay Festival, which is a street parade celebrated during the Chinese Luna New Year period.
People parade on February 21, 2010 during the annual Chinese New year festivities inaugurating the Year of the Tiger in the French capital. Between 600.000 and 700.000 Chinese or people from Chinese origin live in France with some 50% of them in the Paris region.
A woman walks past an advertising board showing two tigers on the seventh day of the Chinese New Year holiday on February 21, 2010.
Performers make their way through the streets of Sydney as part of the Chinese Lunar New Year Twilight Parade on February 21, 2010. Sydney's Chinese New Year Festival is the biggest celebration of the Lunar New Year outside of Asia with the parade bringing together diverse cultures through many mediums including dance, theatre, martial arts, pop and rock music.
A giant metal tiger float (C), constructed from found and recycled materials, is given a test run in front of school children in Sydney on February 19, 2010. The float operated by nine puppeteers and with an audio system in its belly to make it roar and purr, will lead the Chinese New Year Twilight Parade which will take place in Sydney on February 21.
Rain Siu Wingshan (left) and Zero Yau Man-hong kiss after their traditional Chinese wedding ceremony outside a shopping center in Hong Kong's Causeway Bay district on February 14, 2010 - both Valentine's Day and the first day of the Chinese New Year.