Spring Festival celebrations around the world

The 2015 Chinese Lunar New Year began on Thursday, February 19, marking the beginning of Spring Festival celebrations around the world. See how people from Asia to Europe to the Americas rang in the Year of the Sheep.

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Visitors look at lanterns in the shape of the Chinese Terracotta Warriors at Sydney Harbour on February 13, 2015. The artworks, created for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 by a team of Chinese artists, including Xia Nan is on display for the first time in Australia to launch the Australian celebrations of the Lunar New Year of the Sheep. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS
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People walk past a giant sheep outside a shopping mall as part of decorations for the upcoming Lunar New Year in Beijing on February 16, 2015. China's coming lunar new year has stirred a debate over which zodiac creature - sheep or goat - is the correct one -- but Chinese folklorists dismiss the fixation on animals as missing the point. AFP PHOTO / Greg BAKER
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Activists of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wearing sheep masks hold a protest near Chinatown in Manila on February 17, 2015, ahead of the Chinese Lunar new year of the Sheep. The activists are calling on tourists and shoppers to spare sheep from suffering in shearing sheds and slaughterhouses by crossing wool off their shopping lists. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE
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Performers dressed as imperial guards stand during a recreation of a sacrifice ceremony at the Altar of the Earth, in Ditan Park, on the eve of the Lunar New Year in Beijing on February 18, 2015. The ceremony is a recreation of ceremonies once held by Qing Dynasty emperors who sacrificed animals at the altar while worshipping the God of the Earth. Millions of Chinese will celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Sheep on February 19. AFP PHOTO / Greg BAKER
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A performer donning a lion dance costume, tries to pick up red "lai see" envelopes from employees at the Philippine stock exchange during Lunar New Year of the Sheep celebrations in Manila on February 18, 2015. The Lunar New Year, the most important holiday in China and a number of countries in east and southeast Asia, starts on February 19 bringing in the "Year of the Sheep". AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE
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People watch fireworks being set off in a Beijing street on the eve of the Lunar New Year, late on February 18, 2015. Millions of Chinese are celebrating the Lunar New Year, which marks the beginning of the Year of the Sheep on February 19. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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A man sets off fireworks in a street in Shanghai early on February 19, 2015, as millions of Chinese celebrate of the Lunar New Year, which marks the beginning of the Year of the Sheep. The Chinese lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon and Chinese folklore ascribes 12 animals to each year in the rotating cycle. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE
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People light incense sticks and pray on the morning of the Lunar New Year in the City Temple of Shanghai on February 19, 2015. Millions of Chinese are celebrating the Lunar New Year, which marks the beginning of the Year of the Sheep on February 19. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE
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The owner of a collector's car, decorated with colorful lights as decorations for the upcoming Lunar New Year, passes along a street in the Chinatown area of Bangkok on February 18, 2015. The Lunar New Year of the Sheep begins on February 19. AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI
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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 19: Revelers celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year on February 19, 2015 in New York City. Depending on the translation in to English, the animal that marks the year 2015 is up for debate: goat, sheep and ram have all been used. Andrew Burton/Getty Images/AFP
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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 19: Revelers celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year on February 19, 2015 in New York City. Depending on the translation in to English, the animal that marks the year 2015 is up for debate: goat, sheep and ram have all been used. Andrew Burton/Getty Images/AFP
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A worker fixes red lanterns ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations at the Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur on February 17, 2015. The Chinese lunar new 'year of the sheep' begins on February 19. AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA
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A Malaysian ethnic Chinese man burns spiral joss sticks to welcome the Chinese New Year at a temple in Ampang, in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur on February 18, 2015. The Chinese lunar new 'year of the sheep' begins on February 19. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN
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An ethnic Chinese woman holds a candle while offering prayers on the first day of the Lunar New Year celebrations at Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur on February 19, 2015. Millions of Asians are celebrating the Lunar New Year, which marks the beginning of the Year of the Sheep on February 19. AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA
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An ethnic Chinese woman carries a golden figurine after offering prayers on the first day of the Lunar New Year celebrations at Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur on February 19, 2015. Millions of Asians are celebrating the Lunar New Year, which marks the beginning of the Year of the Sheep on February 19. AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA
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Ethnic Chinese watch a traditional lion-dance performance at Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur on February 19, 2015 to mark the first day of the Lunar New Year celebrations. Millions of Asians are celebrating the Lunar New Year, which marks the beginning of the Year of the Sheep on February 19. AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA
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Divers perform a traditional Chinese lion dance underwater at the Aquaria KLCC in Kuala Lumpur on February 19, 2015 to mark the first day of the Lunar New Year. Millions of Asians are celebrating the Lunar New Year, which marks the beginning of the Year of the Sheep on February 19. AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA
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Lanterns are displayed as part of Chinese Lunar New Year decorations in Singapore on February 12, 2015. Ethnic Chinese will celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Sheep on February 19. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN
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A God of Fortune statue is displayed as part of Chinese Lunar New Year decorations in Singapore on February 12, 2015. Ethnic Chinese will celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Sheep on February 19. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN
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A woman stands by a billboard depicting a sheep at a Chinese New Year fair in Hong Kong on February 13, 2015. The Chinese lunar new "year of the sheep" begins on February 19. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez
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Performers gather during preparations for Chinese lunar new year celebrations in Hong Kong on February 17, 2015. The Chinese lunar new "year of the sheep" begins on February 19. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez
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Children wearing traditional costumes pose during preparations for Chinese lunar new year celebrations in Hong Kong on February 17, 2015. The Chinese lunar new "year of the sheep" begins on February 19. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez
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A performer wearing a Panda costume is helped onto a ladder during preparations for Chinese lunar new year celebrations in Hong Kong on February 17, 2015. The Chinese lunar new "year of the sheep" begins on February 19. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez
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A boy stands on a model of a ram near a temple during celebrations to mark the first day of the Lunar New Year in Hong Kong on February 19, 2015. Fortune tellers in Hong Kong said that the Year of the Sheep should be calmer in general than the previous Year of the Horse, which was characterised by catastrophic international air accidents, brutal terror attacks, global political upheaval, a resurgent Ebola virus and war. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez
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TOPSHOTS<br />A woman takes a selfie in front of a multi coloured sheep installation displayed in a shopping mall for the Chinese New Year celebrations in Hong Kong on February 18, 2015. The Chinese Lunar New Year of the Sheep begins on February 19. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez
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Local residents pose for photos next to a flowers made sheep at a traditional flowers market in Taipei on February 14, 2015. Taiwanese shop for their home decorations to welcome the upcoming Lunar New Year of the Sheep which starts on February 19. AFP PHOTO / SAM YEH
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Local residents select their lucky amulets at a traditional flowers market in Taipei on February 14, 2015. Taiwanese shop for their home decorations to welcome the upcoming Lunar New Year of the Sheep which starts on February 19. AFP PHOTO / SAM YEH
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TOPSHOTS<br />Local residents pray during a ceremony early on February 19, 2015 at the Lung Shan Temple in Taipei. Taiwanese pray for the good fortune at a local temple on the first day to mark the Lunar New Year of the Sheep. AFP PHOTO / SAM YEH
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A woman takes a selfie with a sheep at a sheep cafe in Seoul on February 17, 2015. Asia will mark the lunar new year of the sheep on February 19. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones
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This picture taken on February 9, 2015 shows heavy traffic on a street in downtown Hanoi ahead of the Lunar New Year celebrations next week in Hanoi. Vietnamese prepare for the 9-day-long Tet holiday (Lunar New Year) to celebrate the Year of the Sheep. AFP PHOTO / HOANG DINH NAM
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US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius reads out in Vietnamese his best wishes for the upcoming lunar new year as he prepares to release fishes into Ho Tay lake (West Lake) on the occasion of the Kitchen Gods Day in Hanoi on February 11, 2015. Vietnamese observe this traditional day by releasing carps into lakes or rivers as they believe the fishes will carry Kitchen Gods to Heaven with a report on the outgoing lunar year as well as their best wishes for the upcoming lunar new year. AFP PHOTO / HOANG DINH NAM
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A vendor sits at her stall selling decorative items for Tet, or Vietnamese Lunar New Year, at a Tet market in the old quarter of Hanoi on February 12, 2015. The upcoming lunar new year bears the sign of the Sheep according to the lunar calendar. AFP PHOTO / HOANG DINH NAM
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This picture taken on February 12, 2015 shows a vendor (L) sitting at her stall selling dolls at a "Tet" or Lunar New Year market in the old quarter of Hanoi. The upcoming lunar new year, marking the Year of the Sheep, begins on February 19. AFP PHOTO / HOANG DINH NAM
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A woman prepares 2015 Year of the Sheep mascot dolls for attendees at a press conference for the China Central Television's annual hours-long Spring Festival Gala held in Beijing, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. China’s state broadcaster is attempting to extend the international reach of its annual Chinese New Year variety show by making rights available to foreign broadcasters and putting related content on Twitter and other social network sites. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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Bangladeshi girls put vermillion powder on each other as they celebrate the arrival of spring on the first day of Falgoon at the Dhaka University campus in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. Falgoon is the eleventh month in Bengali calendar. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
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A Bangladeshi girl takes photos on her mobile phone during the celebrations of the arrival of spring on the first day of Falgoon at the Dhaka University campus in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. Falgoon is the eleventh month in Bengali calendar. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
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Performers from France practice in front of the sheep decorations during their rehearsal of International Chinese New Year Night Parade in Hong Kong Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. Decades ago the Chinese New Year holiday, also known as Spring Festival, had little impact outside of China. But as the country has gained outsized economic influence, the holiday, which has enormous cultural significance in the Chinese-speaking world, has become more prominent. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
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A performer from Taiwan dressed as the "Third Prince" poses for a photograph in front of the sheep decorations during the rehearsal of International Chinese New Year Night Parade in Hong Kong Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. Decades ago the Chinese New Year holiday, also known as Spring Festival, had little impact outside of China. But as the country has gained outsized economic influence, the holiday, which has enormous cultural significance in the Chinese-speaking world, has become more prominent. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
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