The Lunar New Year is being celebrated around the world on Sunday to mark the start of the year of the snake.
Also known as the Spring Festival, it is the most important holiday of the year in much of Asia.
In China an estimated 200m people make the journey home to spend time with their families. It is thought to be the biggest mass human migration on earth, reports the BBC.
Three divers perform horse- riding dance during the special program for celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year at Beijing Aquarium
So many fireworks are let off in Beijing during the celebrations that authorities this year were forced to appeal for a limit so as not to contribute further to already toxically high levels of air pollution.
Chinese new year falls on the first day of the lunar calendar and lasts for 15 days.
According to mythology, firecrackers and red lanterns are believed to ward off evil spirits.
Thousands of people braved the rain to pack into Trafalgar Square in central London today to celebrate.
Music, dancing and fireworks displays kept up the crowd's spirits as they saw in the Year of the Snake.
Performers from China and the UK wore intricate and colourful costumes as they paraded through the streets of China Town, before dignitaries took part in a traditional Dragon Eyes Dotting Ceremony on the Trafalgar Square stage.
The hardy revellers were then treated to a dramatic Flying Lion Dance in front of the iconic facade of the National Gallery.
More:Lunar New Year Festival Chinese New Year Chinese New Year 2013 Snake Chinese New Year Parades Uk News
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