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First Day of Chinese New Year Sparks Celebrations Across Asia

An Indonesian ethnic Chinese man burns incense sticks during Lunar New Year celebrations at a temple in Jakarta, Indonesia on Jan. 31. The Year of the Horse, according to the symbol of the 12 year cycle of animals, begins today. MAST IRHAM / EPA

Celebrations broke out across Asia today as millions welcomed the Chinese Lunar New Year by performing in parades, burning incense, and praying for good fortune. Known as the most widely celebrated holiday in Asia, this year's 15 day festival marks the Year of the Horse, according to the traditional twelve year zodiac cycle.

Image: Dancers perform during a folk art performance in Beijing
Dancers perform a fire dragon dance in the shower of molten iron spewing firework-like sparks during a performance to celebrate the traditional Chinese Spring Festival on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Beijing on Jan. 31. KIM KYUNG-HOON / Reuters
Image: TOPSHOTS-PHILIPPINES-LUNAR-NEW YEAR
Chinese-Filipinos pray at the Seng Guan Temple to mark the start of the Lunar New Year in Manila's China town on Jan. 31. NOEL CELIS / AFP - Getty Images