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Happy Chinese New Year 2014

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Today marks the start of the Chinese Lunar Year, the Year of the Horse. One of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, the horse signifies kindness, strength, and gregariousness. In the larger Chinese astrological cycle, this year is also associated with the element of wood, which makes 2014 the Year of the Wooden Horse. The combination is supposed to signify 12 months of patience and cooperation ahead. People around the world ushered in the new year with firework displays, family get-togethers, temple visits, and street festivals. Collected here are images from several countries where revelers have been welcoming the Wooden Horse's arrival. [34 photos]

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Divers carry a man-made dragon, as part of Chinese New Year dragon blessings to wish all their guests boundless energy in the Year of the Horse at the South East Asia Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, on January 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Divers carry a man-made dragon, as part of Chinese New Year dragon blessings to wish all their guests boundless energy in the Year of the Horse at the South East Asia Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, on January 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
A performer blows fire during the Chinese New Year celebration in Manila's Chinatown, on January 31, 2014. (Reuters/Erik De Castro) #
Lanterns are hung in a Chinese temple ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, on January 30, 2014. (Reuters/Samsul Said) #
Chicks dyed in various colors are sold in the Chinese district of Binondo on January 31, 2014 in Manila, Philippines. Thousands gathered today to celebrate the Chinese New Year and welcome the Year of the Wooden Horse, with New Year's Day which falls on January 31, 2014. (Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images) #
A Chinese-Filipino prays at the Seng Guan Temple to mark the start of the Lunar New Year of the Horse in Manila's Chinatown, on January 31, 2014. (Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images) #
A giant lantern depicting a horse is seen among Chinese New Year decorations at Yuyuan Garden, in downtown Shanghai, on January 25, 2014. (Reuters/Carlos Barria) #
People wait for their trains at Hongqiao train station in Shanghai, ahead of Chinese New Year, on January 28, 2014. About 3.62 billion trips will be made during the 40-day Spring Festival travel rush which started from January 16, an official said. (Reuters/Carlos Barria) #
A person drags a suitcase as a boy clings to it on a square in front of a railway station ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Qingdao, Shandong province, on January 28, 2014. (Reuters/China Daily) #
A 15-meter-long Chinese Dragon, atop the Sydney Harbor bridge with The Sydney Opera House in the background, on January 21, 2014. A troupe of dragon dancers and musicians made their way to the top of the Sydney icon ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith) #
A Visitor passes 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 in Beijing, China, on January 30, 2014. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
Fireworks explode in a street of Shanghai on the eve of Chinese New Year on January 30, 2014. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images) #
Fireworks explode in a Shanghai street on the eve of Chinese New Year on January 30, 2014. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images) #
Fireworks illuminate a residential area to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year, on January 30, 2014 in Beijing, China. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
A man takes picture of fireworks celebrating the start of the Chinese New Year in Beijing, early January 31, 2014. (Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon) #
Li Sheng poses after tattoo artist Sun Lan tattooed the image of a horse with wings on his back, ahead of the upcoming Chinese lunar New Year at her studio in Beijng, ON January 19, 2014. Li, the 28 year old office worker said the year of horse gave him an idea of having the horse tattoo on his back and it took 6 days to have the tattoo made. (Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon) #
A Chinese opera performer puts on make-up before The Beauty of China Opera show at Pakuwon Bllroom in Surabaya, Indonesia, on January 30, 2014. Chinese opera is an important traditional art performance of music and drama which has been performed for over 500 years, however popularity has been on the decline in today's modern society. It performed as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations known as the Spring festival or the Lunar New Year on January 31st, welcoming the Year of the Horse. (Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images) #
People watch dragon dance performance in front of a business establishment in celebration of Chinese New Year at Manila's Chinatown district of Binondo, Philippines, on January 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez) #
Indonesian men release sparrows from a cage to mark the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year at Petak Sembilan Temple in Jakarta, on January 31, 2014. (Reuters/Beawiharta) #
Chinese Cambodian men perform a Lion Dance to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year at the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh, on January 30, 2014. (Reuters/Samrang Pring) #
People scramble outside a supermarket for candy during the Chinese New Year celebration in Manila's Chinatown, on January 31, 2014. (Reuters/Erik De Castro) #
A lion dance is performed inside a shop in the Yokohama Chinatown, on January 31, 2014 in Yokohama, Japan. (Keith Tsuji/Getty Images) #
North Korean refugees and their family members bow as a sign of respect to their ancestors in the North, during Lunar New Year celebrations at the Imjingak Pavilion, near the border village of Panmunjom, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, on January 31, 2014. South Korea on Monday proposed that the rival Koreas restart arranging reunions next month for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. But still, the North Korea kept silent on South Korea's offer. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man) #
An elderly woman, formerly from North Korea, and her family members bow as a sign of respect to their ancestors in North Korea during Lunar New Year celebrations at the Imjingak Pavilion, near the border village of Panmunjom, in Paju, South Korea, on January 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man) #
Yoo Sang-gak, 90, who was originally from Pyongyang and has brothers in North Korea, hangs a sign bearing the names of his brothers on the barbed-wire fence after a memorial service for North Korean family members near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, on January 31, 2014, on the occasion of Seolnal, the Korean Lunar New Year's day. (Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji) #
A woman takes a photo of Chinese lanterns ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations inside a temple in Jenjarom, outside Kuala Lumpur, on January 29, 2014. (Reuters/Samsul Said) #
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, on January 31, 2014. (Reuters/Beawiharta) #
Worshippers burn incense to pray for good fortune on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, at Dafo temple in Chongqing municipality, on January 31, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer) #
An ethnic Chinese boy lights candles and joss sticks on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year at a temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on January 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin) #
Fireworks explode above Singapore's Marina Bay during Chinese New Year celebrations, on January 29, 2014. (Reuters/Edgar Su) #
Residents set off fireworks as part of Chinese New Year celebrations in Shanghai, on January 31, 2014. (Reuters/Carlos Barria) #
Revelers walk past a flower lantern display ahead of the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Marina Bay in Singapore, on January 29, 2014. (Reuters/Edgar Su) #
Performers dance at the 2014 Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade, on January 31, 2014 in Hong Kong. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images) #
Dancers perform a fire dragon dance in the shower of molten iron spewing firework-like sparks during a folk art performance to celebrate the traditional Chinese Spring Festival on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, at the Happy Valley amusement park in Beijing, on January 31, 2014. (Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon) #
A performer dressed as a Qing dynasty emperor takes part in the re-enactment of the ancient Qing Dynasty ceremony in which emperors prayed for good harvest and fortune, during the opening of the temple fair for the Chinese New Year at Ditan Park, also known as the Temple of Earth, in Beijing, on January 30, 2014. (Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon) #

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