Chinese New Year, 2011 | The Lunar New Year, or more accurately the lunisolar new year, began February 4 and in most countries that celebrate it ushered in the Year of the Rabbit according to the Chinese zodiac. In China Lunar New Year is the most important date on the calendar and triggers over a month of holiday travel which is often described as the largest annual human migration in the world. Hundreds of millions tax the transport system. The new year also marks the beginning of the Spring Festival in China which continues until the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth day. Lunar New Year is celebrated in many countries, with many different traditions as well. Gathered here are pictures of China's travel wave and celebrations, as well as pictures from other countries' Lunar New Year observations.
A man points at the train schedule at Shanghai's railway station February 1, 2011.
(Carlos Barria | Reuters)
A boy runs to board a train at Guangzhou station January 30, 2011.
(Ed Jones | AFP/Getty Images)
Travelers ascend an escalator at Guangzhou's train station January 30, 2011.
(Ed Jones | AFP/Getty Images)
Fireworks celebrate Chinese New Year February 3, 2011 in Beijing.
(Lintao Zhang | Getty Images)
Visitors wearing rabbit ear headbands watch a night parade held to celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong February 3, 2011.
(Tyrone Siu | Reuters)
Residents gather to make dumplings ahead of Chinese New Year in Beijing February 1, 2011. Dumplings are a traditional food eaten to celebrate the New Year.
(Ng Han Guan | AP)
Lim Neung-man (right), 86, bows in the direction of the North during a memorial service for ancestors as his son pauses during Seolnal, the Korean lunar new year day, at Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea February 3, 2011. Lim has not been able to visit his hometown since the Korean War. The Seolnal is also a time for Korean families to remember and honor their ancestors and Imjingak pavilion is the closest residents of the south can get to the border.
(Lee Jae-Won | Reuters)
Buddhists wait to place incense sticks in an urn at a local Chinese Buddhist temple February 3, 2011 in Singapore.
(Wong Maye-E | AP)
Angelito Araneta Jr. puts a 0.2-carat diamond on a rabbit-shaped sweet rice cake, locally known as Tikoy, which he encrusted with 24-carat edible gold leaf February 2, 2011 in Manila. The cakes sell for $485 and is one of 13 ordered by rich Chinese customers for the celebration of the Lunar New Year. Araneta Jr. said one customer ordered a two-diamond gold encrusted rice cake for $2,710, his most expensive so far.
(Bullit Marquez | AP)
Cambodian Chinese perform a dragon dance February 2, 2011, in front of the Royal Palace ahead of Lunar New Year in Phnom Penh.
(Heng Sinith | AP)
A man offers prayers at Longshan Temple to bring in the Chinese New Year in Taipei February 2, 2011.
(Wally Santana | AP)
A vendor shouts out to customers at a Chinese New Year market in Taipei January 30, 2011.
(Nicky Loh | Reuters)
Visitors walk among Lunar New Year decorations at Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen temple in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur January 30, 2011.
(Saeed Khan | AFP/Getty Images)
A calligrapher paints in Hanoi January 28, 2011. Calligraphy paintings are used for decoration during Tet, the Vietnamese traditional Lunar New Year.
(Kham | Reuters)
Indonesians release heart shaped lanterns in Jakarta February 5, 2011 in celebration of Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rabbit. Lunar New Year is celebrated in many parts of the predominantly Islamic country of 240 million people where Chinese heritage took root through ancient transmigration.
(Romeo Gacad | AFP/Getty Images)
Revelers celebrate Chinese New Year on Mott Street in the Chinatown neighborhood of Manhattan February 3, 2011.
(Mary Altaffer | AP)
Chinese folk artists perform a Koreans' dance at a temple fair to celebrate the Lunar New Year of Rabbit on February 4, 2011 in Beijing, China.
Getty Images | Feng Li
A performer playing the role of emperor takes part in a reenactment of a customary ceremony where the emperor prays for a good harvest during the lunar new year at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011.
AP / Ng Han Guan
A young girl burns incense sticks in a temple on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Shanghai on Februrary 2, 2011.
AFP/ Getty Images | Philippe Lopez
A girl takes pictures of festive decorations beneath red lanterns at the Temple of the Earth (Ditan Park) on the eve of the Lunar New Year in Beijing on February 2, 2011. The Year of the Rabbit, fourth among the twelve-animals of the Chinese zodiac, began on February 3.
AFP/ Getty Images | Frederic J. Brown
Performers dressed as rabbits are seen during the night parade in Hong Kong Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011 as they celebrate China's lunar new year.
AP / Kin Cheung
People perform a Dragon dance at a Chinese temple in Jakarta on February 2, 2011 prior to the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations to welcome the Year of the Rabbit.
AFP/ Getty Images | Bay Ismoyo
Pedestrians hold their ears as firecrackers explode in a street at Chinatown during the Lunar New Year celebrations in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011.
AP / Junji Kurokawa
Children watch the Lion as the Dutch Chinese community celebrates the start of the Chinese New Year, during a festival in Rotterdam, on February 3, 2011.
AFP/ Getty Images | Anoek De Groot
Children, wearing rabbit headbands, react to a performance during festivities at Manila's Chinatown district of Binondo to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year in the Philippines Thursday Feb.3, 2011, the year of the rabbit in the Chinese calendar.
AP | Bullit Marquez
A dancer spits fire in Manila's Chinatown on February 3, 2011, during Lunar New Year celebrations. From Sydney to Pyongyang, the Lunar New Year was marked by a thundering barrage of firecrackers, family feasts -- and rabbits galore.
AFP/ Getty Images | Noel Celis
People walk beneath red lantern decorations on the second day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, Friday, Feb. 4, 2011 in Singapore.
AP | Wong Maye-E
A Taiwanese woman smiles under a prayer lantern at the Longshan temple as she brings in the Chinese lunar new year in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011.
AP | Wally Santana
A Taoist follower holds a bunch of incense at a Taoist temple in Taipei on February 3, 2010. Taiwanese traditionally pray for the good fortune on the first day of the Lunar new year to mark their most important annual holiday.
AFP/ Getty Images | Sam Yeh
A Thai man (R) places a candle in a water basin where a statue of Buddha is reflected as people gather at a Chinese temple in Bangkok on the eve of the Lunar New Year on February 2, 2011.
AFP/ Getty Images | Christophe Archambault
An artist performs at Xuanwu Lake Park to greet the Chinese New Year February 2, 2011 in Nanjing, China.
ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images
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