In the final few moments of 6 February 2008, revellers near Beijing's ancient Bell and Drum Towers light fireworks to see in the Lunar New Year.
China has entered the Year of the Rat. Celebrations have had an Olympic flavour, with Friday marking six months to go until the Beijing Games begin on 8 August.
China's Olympic mascots, or 'Fuwas', have been ubiquitous across the country during the New Year celebrations.
Venues in Beijing are nearing completion. The showpiece 'Bird's Nest' stadium is adorned with a red New Year's lantern for the occasion.
At the 'Water Cube' Olympic swimming venue, a 'Good Luck Beijing' test event takes place in the run-up to New Year.
Wheelchair basketball events are held at the National Indoor Stadium. The Paralympics begin on 8 September.
Beijing has been on a publicity drive in recent months. This newly released image depicts men's 100m world champion Tyson Gay on the Great Wall of China.
Beijing is looking to make the most of its Olympic year. Entertainers in the German city of Cologne wear outfits bearing the message 'Beijing welcomes you'.
In the build-up to Beijing, concerns have been raised over the city's pollution levels, and China's human rights record. Chinese officials, however, insist the Games will be a success.