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The lunar new year is celebrated throughout the world, but especially in Asia when the lunisolar calendar ticks off a new cycle. This year is the Year of the Dragon on the Chinese zodiac, and is viewed as very auspicious. In China, the holiday is known as 春节, the Spring Festival, and kicks off 15 days of celebration. It also triggers the largest human migration in the world, as hundreds of millions of Chinese trek to see families. Gathered here are images of the preparation for the holiday, the travel scene in mainland China, and celebrations in many parts of the world. 新年快乐! -- Lane Turner/雷恩 (38 photos total)
Chinese folk artists perform the lion dance at a temple fair to celebrate the Lunar New Year on January 22, 2012 in Beijing. Also known as the Spring Festival, which is based on the Lunisolar calendar, it is celebrated from the first day of the first month of the lunar year and ends with the Lantern Festival on the Fifteenth day. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

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SPEAKER SCUFFLE: An injured Muslim worshiper lay on the ground after clashing with supporters of Bulgaria’s nationalist party ‘Attack’ in front of the Banya Bashi Mosque in central Sofia Friday. The Attack party organized a rally to protest the use of loudspeakers at the mosque. (Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

FEAT OF STRENGTH: Men dragged the Baltic Queen, a vessel that weighs 20,000 tons, in Tallinn, Estonia, Friday. Some 20 ‘Hercules’ dragged the vessel for about 10 yards. (Wang Yaxiong/Xinhua/Zuma Press)

STEPPING DOWN: Tokyo Electric Power Company President Masataka Shimizu attended a news conference at the head office in Tokyo Friday. He resigned to take responsibility for the company’s much-criticized handling of the March 11 disasters that crippled Fukushima Daiichi. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

STRECHING NOODLES: A man stretched thin noodles on wood frames in a village in Fuzhou in southeast China’s Fujian province Friday. The food, called ‘Changshou Mian,’ which means ‘longevity noodles,’ dates back more than eight centuries. (Liu Tao/EPA)

UNDER WATER: An old school bus sat in floodwater from the rising Mississippi River in St. Francisville, La., where a dozen homes and businesses were flooded Friday. Residents were leaving under a mandatory evacuation order set to kick in on Saturday. (Gerald Herbert/Associated Press)

BROKEN GLASS: A policeman drove while sitting in the cab of a water tanker that had its windows smashed by a group of protesters in Mumbai Friday. Demonstrators protesting against a temporary cut in water supply attacked private water tankers with sticks and stones in central Mumbai. (Reuters)

READY, AIM, FIRE: A masked Palestinian demonstrator used a sling-shot to hurl stones at Israeli troops, not pictured, during the weekly demonstration against Israel’s separation barrier in the West Bank village of Bilin, near Ramallah, Friday. (Majdi Mohammed/Associated Press)

SINKING SHIPS: A Libyan navy corvette exploded during an air strike by British Royal Air Force Tornado jets on the port of Al Khums, Libya, Friday. NATO aircraft sank eight warships belonging to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in overnight attacks, the alliance said. (Crown Copyright/Handout/Reuters)

SHOW OF SUPPORT: People waited behind a bamboo barricade to get a glimpse of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee after she took an oath as the new chief minister of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal in Kolkata Friday. (Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters)

NEED FOR SPEED: Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain could be seen in the rear mirror during the second free practice at the Montmelo racetrack in Montmelo, Spain, Friday. The Formula One race will be held on Sunday. (Frank Augstein/Associated Press)

LIKE MARILYN MONROE: A dog lay on a subway grate as protesters set up tents at the Puerta del Sol square in Madrid Thursday during a protest against Spain’s economic crisis and its sky-high jobless rate. Young people camped in main squares across Spain. (Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)

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