In pictures: Lunar New Year welcomes the year of the pig

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image sourceEPA
image captionIn Bangkok, performers dressed up as pigs to celebrate the Lunar New Year

More than a billion people around the world have begun celebrating the Lunar New Year and the start of the Year of the Pig.

In China that means millions of people have travelled to their hometowns, in the largest annual human migration.

Also known as the Spring Festival, the Lunar New Year is celebrated by countries across Asia.

Fireworks, special clothes, red lanterns and lots of food will mark the occasion.

The pig, one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, is believed to be a symbol of optimism, enthusiasm and hard work.

image sourceAFP/Getty
image captionThe pig will feature heavily in this year's festivities, like this giant pig installation in Hong Kong
image sourceEPA
image captionAt the Temple of Heaven in Beijing , performers rehearse a re-enactment of an imperial sacrifice ritual
image sourceReuters
image captionEach year, millions in China travel home for family reunions
image sourceGetty Images
image captionThe journey can take hours or even days, in overcrowded trains or on jammed highways
image sourceReuters
image captionA diver at Seaworld Marine Park in Jakarta waves to children on the eve of the Spring Festival
image sourceEPA
image captionBuildings like the Sydney Opera House were lit up with red lights to celebrate the entry of the new year
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image captionMeanwhile in Manila, children perform a dragon dance with improvised props
image sourceEPA
image captionIn Indonesia's Bali, dancers perform a lion dance at a temple
image sourceAFP
image captionIt's pigs galore also in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam
image sourceAFP/Getty
image captionThis US installation called "a golden year" has been erected in a Hong Kong shopping arcade
image sourceEPA
image captionAlongside festivities, worshippers gathered at temples, like this one in Bangkok's Chinatown

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