10 February 2013
Last updated at 09:23
Celebrations have been held across the world to mark the Lunar New Year, as here in China, where fireworks lit up the capital Beijing.
Beijing residents braved freezing temperatures to enjoy the celebrations, despite requests by the authorities to limit the number of fireworks because of the extremely high pollution readings in the capital recently.
Setting off fireworks to celebrate renewal and ward off evil spirits is a traditional part of the new year celebrations. Here, fireworks explode above the town of Dandong, near China's border with North Korea.
In the Chinese zodiac, this year will be the year of the snake, taking over from the dragon. Here, dragon and lion dancers perform in the Binondo district of Manila, capital of the Philippines.
On the first day of the new year, Buddhists visit their local temple and perform chants and prayers. The Yonghe Temple in Beijing was swamped by worshippers on Sunday morning.
Buddhists also burn incense, which for many is a way of sending messages of gratitude through fragrance, and is also a way to purify oneself and to share with others.
The Lunar New Year festival, also called the Spring Festival, begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, 15 days later. At the multidenominational Longshan Temple in Taipei, Taiwan, people make flower offerings to show love and respect for their ancestors.
The festival has become popular wherever Chinese people, or those of Chinese descent, live. It is celebrated officially across Asia, including here in Malaysia.