In pictures: Lunar New Year

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In pictures: Lunar New Year welcomes the year of the pig

Image copyright EPA
Image caption In Bangkok, performers dressed up as pigs to celebrate the Lunar New Year

More than a billion people around the world have begun celebrating the Lunar New Year and the start of the Year of the Pig.

In China that means millions of people have travelled to their hometowns, in the largest annual human migration.

Also known as the Spring Festival, the Lunar New Year is celebrated by countries across Asia.

Fireworks, special clothes, red lanterns and lots of food will mark the occasion.

The pig, one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, is believed to be a symbol of optimism, enthusiasm and hard work.

Children in animal hats pose in front of a pig giant pig installation ahead of the Lunar New Year in Hong Kong Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption The pig will feature heavily in this year's festivities, like this giant pig installation in Hong Kong
Chinese performers dressed in traditional costumes attend a rehearsal of a re-enactment of a Qing dynasty (1636-1912) imperial sacrifice ritual to worship the Earth, on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year Image copyright EPA
Image caption At the Temple of Heaven in Beijing , performers rehearse a re-enactment of an imperial sacrifice ritual
Crowded Chinese train station Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Each year, millions in China travel home for family reunions
Traffic jam on night highway Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The journey can take hours or even days, in overcrowded trains or on jammed highways
A man waves to children as he dives ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year at Seaworld Marine Park in Jakarta, Indonesia Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A diver at Seaworld Marine Park in Jakarta waves to children on the eve of the Spring Festival
Spectators take photos of fireworks as they explode behind the Sydney Opera House as it glows red as part of celebrations for Chinese Lunar New Year of the pig, in Sydney Image copyright EPA
Image caption Buildings like the Sydney Opera House were lit up with red lights to celebrate the entry of the new year
Children perform a lion dance routine with an improvised lion head made from cardboard for pedestrians in the Chinatown district of Manila Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Meanwhile in Manila, children perform a dragon dance with improvised props
A group of dancers perform during Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations at a temple in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia Image copyright EPA
Image caption In Indonesia's Bali, dancers perform a lion dance at a temple
Vietnamese taking pictures in front of New Year sign Image copyright AFP
Image caption It's pigs galore also in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam
A tourist takes photos inside an installation entitled "A golden year" by Dog and Pony of Los Angeles, erected as part Lunar New Year festivities, at a shopping arcade in Hong Kong on February 4 Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption This US installation called "a golden year" has been erected in a Hong Kong shopping arcade
Worshippers burn incense in prayer at a temple to celebrate the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, in Chinatown in Bangkok, Thailand Image copyright EPA
Image caption Alongside festivities, worshippers gathered at temples, like this one in Bangkok's Chinatown

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