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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 10:05 GMT
In Pictures: Lunar New Year

A family walk over a large picture of a rat in Beijing, China (07/02/2008)

People around the world have been celebrating Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, and welcoming in the Year of the Rat.

Malaysian ethnic Chinese offer prayers at a temple in Kuala Lumpur (07/02/2008)

Many chose to start the celebrations with a visit to a Buddhist temple, like these people in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Crowds of people pray at a temple in Beijing, China (07/02/2008)

Despite the cold weather, thousands of people gathered at temples in Beijing to mark the most important annual festival in much of East Asia.

People pray at a Chinese temple in Jakarta, Indonesia (07/02/2008)

In Indonesia, where the celebration was banned for years by recently deceased leader Suharto, ethnic Chinese people burned incense and offered prayers.

A woman makes traditional dumplings in Beijing, China (06/02/2008)

Every year millions of people travel home to be with their families for the holiday. In parts of China, families make dumplings to symbolise luck and reunion.

A man prays next to a barbed wire fence in Panmunjom, South Korea (07/02/2008)

But not everyone can be with their loved ones, like this man in South Korea who offered prayers for his parents across the border in the North.

A vendor tries to sell a toy rat at a temple fair in Beijing, China (07/02/2008)

New Year fairs spring up in Chinese cities, selling toys, gifts and red decorations said to bring good luck.

Firecrackers explode in Beijing (07/02/2008)

Firecrackers, traditionally believed to scare away evil spirits, are set off in cities, towns and villages across the region.

A traditional Chinese lion dance is performed at the Philippine Stock Exchange in Manila (07/02/2008)

Workers at the Philippine Stock Exchange were treated to a traditional Chinese dragon dance. The Year of the Rat is said to be a good year for business and commerce.

A man hangs traditional lanterns in London's Chinatown district (07/02/2008)

Celebrations will continue over the weekend. Thousands of people are expected to watch parades and performances in London's Chinatown. Send your photos to

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