The Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year starts on February 3 in 2011. It is the year of the rabbit.

According to a Reuters article:

The rabbit is believed to be one of the happiest signs, with people born in that year renowned for their kindness, reliability and loyalty, though with an air of mystery and propensity to cry. “The Rabbit represents mid-spring when trees and plants are prospering,” said Raymond Lo, a Hong Kong-based feng shui master.

“It represents youth, motion and activity and so it will be an energetic year with new movements of young people and more young people demanding changes and reform in politics,” he added.

The traditional Chinese festival is celebrated with fireworks, parades, and parties. Here are 15 photos from events around the world.

* Feature photo: kennymatic

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Chinese Lunar New Year

1. Lion dance in London 2009.Photo: Paolo Camera

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Chinese Lunar New Year

2. Lanterns in Beijing, China's Ditan Park in 2009. Red symbolizes good luck. The lantern festival on the 15th day of the first month in the Chinese new year marks the end of the new year celebrations.Photo: storyvillegirl

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Chinese Lunar New Year

3. The dragon dance at the 2005 New York parade in Chinatown.Photo: heypatrick

Intermission
3

Qoyllur Rit’i: Beating drums and freezing feet

by Camden Luxford
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Chinese New Year, Spam, and surfing: Oahu, Hawaii’s festivals

by Karen Dion
7

100 New Year’s Resolutions for 2011

by Natalie Grant
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Chinese Lunar New Year

4. An elaborate headress at the 2008 Chinese New Year Parade in Sydney, Australia.Photo: dicktay2000

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Chinese Lunar New Year

5. Fireworks during the 2010 celebration in Sanya on Hainan Island in China. Photo: django.malone

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Chinese Lunar New Year

6. Chinatown Pagoda Street during the 2008 celebration in Singapore. Behind is the famous Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.Photo: william cho

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Chinese Lunar New Year

7. A dragon at the 2008 Austin, Texas celebration. The dragon dance performed at New Year celebrations is a symbol of luck and success for the coming year.Photo: jmtimages

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Chinese Lunar New Year

8. The parade in New York City in 2008. Traditionally, the New Year celebrations are family events.Photo: * raymond

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Chinese Lunar New Year

9. Pensive at the New York parade. Photo: Francisco Collazo

Intermission
2

New Year’s Day in the life of an expat in Okinawa, Japan

by Mary Richardson
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New Year’s Eve firecracker show in Suriname

by Coen Wubbels
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New Year’s Eve fireworks around the world

by Kristin Conard
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Chinese Lunar New Year

10. Performers at the 2008 celebration in Yokohama, Japan.Photo: tanakawho

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Chinese Lunar New Year

11. Lai-see envelopes are red envelopes with money in them that bring good luck and are given as gifts, mostly to children, during the New Year. Oranges are symbols of wealth. (Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco)Photo: kennymatic

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Chinese Lunar New Year

12. Firecrackers ready to be set off in Paris, 2010.Photo: -NACH-

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Chinese Lunar New Year

Chinese candy box with sugared coconut, red melon seeds, sugared lotus seeds, sugared water chestnuts, sugared lotus root, and black melon seeds. The candy box is a New Year's tradition and is usually filled with 6 or 8 candied items (6 and 8 are auspicious numbers in Chinese culture).Photo: denn

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Chinese Lunar New Year

Taking a break from the costume in New York.Photo: Francisco Collazo

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Chinese Lunar New Year

Lanterns in Nagasaki, 2006. Photo: marufish