The Lunar New Year is being celebrated by Chinese communities around the world as the year of the pig is ushered in.
The colour red, loud noises and fearsome dancing dragons help ward off evil spirits that might appear on New Year's Eve.
Every year at this time, China's transport network is stretched to the breaking point as hundreds of millions of people fulfil the duty to return to their hometowns.
The year of the pig is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity. This time it is a golden pig year, especially auspicious, which comes around only every 60 years.
Firecrackers are a regular feature of celebrations as the loud noise is meant to frighten evil spirits and bring good luck.
Incense is lit and prayers are said to welcome the new year and encourage longevity at Chinese temples like this one in Taipei, Taiwan.
Amidst all the celebrations, China has not forgotten it is hosting the Olympics in 2008, as this little girl meets the official mascots at Beijing's Ditan Park temple fair.