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In pictures: Chinese lantern festival
Millions of Chinese participate in colourful, ancient lantern festival to end New Year’s celebrations.
Sky lanterns soar upwards in Pingxi, Taiwan, as part of the Lantern Festival. Believers release sky lanterns as a form of prayer for good luck and blessings. The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month in the lunar year in the Chinese calendar.
26 Feb 2013
Chinese entertainers perform a traditional dance during the Lantern Festival parade in Yuxian. The festival, which dates back more than 2,000 years to the Han Dynasty, turns China(***)s cities into seas of lanterns and fireworks.
Visitors view elaborate lanterns during the festival that marks the end to the Chinese lunar New Year celebrations, in Taipei, Taiwan.
People look at the lanterns at Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai, China. It was estimated that more than 3.4 billion trips took place this year, most by bus, train or plane, so that people could be with their families.
Chinese blacksmiths throw molten metal against a cold stone wall to create sparks in Nuanquan, Hebei province. For more than 300 years, the village which is famous for its blacksmith skills, has maintained the tradition, which they considered a cheaper alternative than buying fireworks during the Lantern Festival.
A young girl looks at lanterns in Shanghai. Families walk the streets together admiring the lanterns and fireworks.
In Beijing, extensive use of fireworks during the festival caused the air quality in the notoriously polluted city to worsen as heavy smog blanketed the sky.
People light candles at Guangren Temple in Xi(***)an, China. The Chinese Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important holiday in China, and is celebrated in many countries with large Chinese populations.
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