Chinese Lunar Year Celebration

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The Lantern Festival marks the 15th and final day of Chinese Lunar New Year festivities and was celebrated all over the world by the Chinese community yesterday. The holiday is the most important annual celebration in China, when the nation largely shuts down as families gather together for reunions and feasts. On the night of the festival, decorative lanterns depicting birds, beasts, historical figures, and any one of a number of different themes are hanged at homes and along the streets. Often competitions are held. The Lantern Festival is further enriched by the customary lantern riddle parties that are held on this night.

The Lantern Festival, or Yuan Xiao Jie, completes the welcoming of the Year of the Rabbit - from the Chinese zodiac, indicating a year of caution and calm.


A folk artist pauses while waiting for to perform at a temple fair celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year at Dongyue Temple in Beijing, February 7, 2011. The Lunar New Year began on February 3, and ends on February 17th. starting of the Year of the Rabbit, according to the Chinese zodiac. (REUTERS/Jason Lee) 


A man works on the top of decorative red lanterns ahead of the New Year celebrations in Beijing on December 30, 2010. (REUTERS/Jason Lee)

APTOPIX Singapore Chingay Parade

Performers are seen during the "Chingay Parade", a multicultural street performance, Friday Feb. 11, 2011 in Singapore. This parade is part of the Chinese new year celebrations. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)


Participants perform a dragon dance during a Chinese New Year celebration in Vina del Mar city, about 121 km (75 miles) northwest of Santiago, Chile on February 3, 2011. (REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez)


Onlookers watch the 12th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade on February 06, 2011 in New York City. (Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

China Snow

A man walks by snow covered red lanterns hung on a tree outside Ditan Park in Beijing Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

China Year of the Rabbit

Fireworks explode across the Chinese capital as residents mark the passing of midnight into the Chinese New Year in Beijing, China, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)


People release sky lanterns to celebrate the traditional Chinese Lantern Festival in Pingxi, Taipei County February 12, 2011. Believers gathered to release the sky lanterns as a form of prayer for good luck and blessings. The tradition of releasing lanterns began during the Ching Dynasty when bands of outlaws frequently raided villages, forcing local residents to seek refuge in the mountains. The lanterns were signals used by the village watchmen to inform the refugees that their houses were safe again. (REUTERS/Nicky Loh)

China Economy

An elderly Chinese man looks at lanterns displayed outside a shopping mall in Beijing, China on Monday, Feb. 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)


Visitors wearing rabbit ear headbands watch a night parade held to celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong February 3, 2011. (REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)


A child performer in traditional costumes rehearses for the upcoming Lantern Festival at a park in Taiyuan, Shanxi province on February 11, 2011. (REUTERS/Stringer)


Fireworks light up Victoria Harbor during Lunar New Year celebrations in Hong Kong on February 4, 2011. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)


A worker lays out newly-made red lanterns to dry at a lantern factory in Jishan county, Shanxi province December 27, 2010. (REUTERS/Stringer)


An artist performs fire breathing at Xuanwu Lake Park to greet the Chinese New Year on February 2, 2011 in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province of China. (ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

Romania Chinese New Year Ballet

Dancers of China's Gansu province Opera Ensemble perform during the Dunhuang Melody show at the National Theater in Bucharest, Romania on Friday night, Feb. 11, 2011. The show, which is on a 50 countries tour, is organized to celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rabbit which started on Feb. 3. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)


Onlookers shoot confetti into the air during the 12th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade on February 06, 2011 in New York City. (Michael Nagle/Getty Images)


Participants perform a fire dragon dance at a temple fair celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year in Beijing, China on February 6, 2011. (REUTERS/Grace Liang)


A performer dressed in a rabbit costume shows the gesture of paying a new year call at a temple fair to celebrate the Lunar New Year of Rabbit on February 2, 2011 in Beijing, China. (Feng Li/Getty Images)


A woman lights incense to pray for good fortune on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year at a temple in Wuhu, Anhui province, China on February 3, 2011. (REUTERS/Stringer)

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