People around the world are celebrating Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, and welcoming in the Year of the Ox.
The ox, one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, symbolises calm, hard work, resolve and tenacity. 2008 was the Year of the Rat.
Millions saw in the Lunar New Year with parties, feasts and fireworks.
Many choose to start the celebrations with a visit to a Buddhist shrine, to light incense and pray for the year ahead.
Buddhists at this temple in Singapore vie to place their incense sticks in an urn at midnight, for an auspicious start to the Lunar New Year.
The celebrations come amid global economic gloom. Lion dances, such as this in the Philippine Stock Exchange, aim to ward off evil spirits.
The colour red is also believed to keep away bad luck. Red lanterns such as these at this Lunar New Year fair in Beijing are a common sight.
Peach blossoms adorn many homes during this period and many hope it will bring good luck for the next 12 months.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao spent New Year's Eve visiting the survivors of last May's devastating earthquake in Sichuan province, which left nearly 70,000 people dead.