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Performers dance at the 2014 Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade on Jan. 31, 2014 in Hong Kong.
Performers dance at the 2014 Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade on Jan. 31, 2014 in Hong Kong.Lam Yik Fei—Getty Images
Performers dance at the 2014 Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade on Jan. 31, 2014 in Hong Kong.
Worshippers burn incense to pray for good fortune on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which welcomes the Year of the Horse, at Dafo temple in Chongqing municipality, Jan. 31, 2014.
Fireworks illuminate the skyline to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year of Horse and cause severe air pollution on Jan. 30, 2014 in Beijing.
Fireworks explode in a street of Shanghai on the eve of Chinese New Year on Jan. 30, 2014.
A Lion Dancer takes a break during a practice session on Jan. 29, 2014 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Dancers perform a fire dragon dance in the shower of molten iron spewing firework-like sparks during a folk art performance in Beijing
A man sets off fireworks as residents celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year in Shanghai, Jan. 31, 2014.
Fireworks illuminate a residential area to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year of Horse and cause severe air pollution on Jan. 30, 2014 in Beijing.
A man films the fireworks display using his phone in Chinatown, on the eve of Chinese New Year in Manila, Philippines, Jan. 30, 2014.
Worshippers burn incense and pray at the Wong Tai Sin Temple to welcome the Chinese New Year of the horse in Hong Kong on Jan. 30, 2014.
The London Eye is lit in red and gold on the eve of the Chinese New Year in London on Jan. 30, 2014.
Indonesian performers dressed as mermaids wearing traditional Chinese cheongsam dress perform underwater in a special program celebrating the Lunar New Year at Jakarta's Ancol park on Jan. 31, 2014.
A Visitor passes the trees decorated with red lanterns at the Spring Festival Temple Fair for celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year of Horse at the Temple of Earth park on Jan. 30, 2014 in Beijing.
Folk dancers hold horse models as they prepare to take part in a traditional horse dance on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which welcomes the Year of the Horse, at the Longtan park in Beijing Jan. 31, 2014.
Visitors view a performance at a temple fair celebrating the Lunar New Year, known as the Spring Festival, in Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan Province, Jan. 31, 2014.
A man dressed as a Qing Dynasty emperor performs in a reenactment of an imperial ritual ceremony praying for good harvest in the coming year at the Temple of Earth park on the Spring Festival in Beijing Jan. 31, 2014.
Performers dance during a temple fair to celebrate the Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year, in Beijing, Jan. 31, 2014.
A man prays for good fortune while holding incense on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year at Petak Sembilan Temple, in Jakarta, Jan. 31, 2014.
Performers dance at the 2014 Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade on Jan. 31, 2014 in Hong Kong.
Lam Yik Fei—Getty Images
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The Year of the Horse: Chinese New Year Celebrations Around the World

Jan 31, 2014

Friday, January 31 marks the beginning of the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the celebration of Chinese New Year. For two weeks, families around the world will gather for commemorations with dances, fireworks, meals, gifts of money in red envelopes (both physical and digital) and decorations with handwritten poetry, culminating with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month in the lunar year.

Each year in the Chinese calendar has a corresponding zodiac animal, and today marks the turnover from the Year of the Snake to the Year of the Horse. Here's a look at Chinese New Year celebrations around the world.

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