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There was no shortage of people in Beijing’s Baiyunguan Temple taking part in the traditional bout of coin-throwing for the Lunar New Year.

Strike the bell under the arch, and according to legend it will bring good luck and prosperity in the year to come.

In line with tradition, many Chinese families visited temples early in the morning following a night of celebrations. They burned incense and took part in prayers.

A drop in the use of fireworks on Saturday night meant pollution levels, although still high, were not as bad as last year.

The Lunar New Year was celebrated all over East Asia. In many countries the first day of the new year is a public holiday.

In the North Korean capital Pyongyang, many braved the cold to climb Mansu Hill in the city centre to pay homage to the statues of national founder Kim Il Sung and the late leader Kim Jong Il.

They also celebrated in the Chinatown district of Rangoon, the former capital of Myanmar and its commercial centre. The occasion was marked by a procession of several Burmese-Chinese groups.

Meanwhile in Indonesia where Chinese used to celebrate their new year in hiding, thousands openly performed prayer rituals at the oldest temple in Jakarta.

In Australia, Melbourne’s Chinatown was packed with crowds taking in street performances and tasting delicacies from stalls.

One restaurant was reportedly charging 888 Australian dollars (685 euros) per person for its nine-course New Year menu. Eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture, because it sounds similar to the Chinese character for wealth

In London dancers, singers and musicians provided a colourful contrast with the wet weather.

The Chinese New Year falls on the first day of the lunar calendar and lasts for a fortnight.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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