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Guangdong Province

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The Chinese Lantern Festival takes place on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year. As they mark the end of the Spring Festival, celebrants create colorful lanterns, set off fireworks, and hold parades. In one village, residents hurl molten metal against a wall to create an impressive display of sparks in a 300-year-old tradition. Gathered below are some vibrant images from this year's Chinese Lantern Festival. [29 photos]

A blacksmith throws molten metal against a cold wall to create sparks, as he and others celebrate the Lantern Festival which traditionally marks the end of the Lunar New Year celebrations, in Nuanquan, Hebei province, China, on February 6, 2012. For over 300 years, the village, which is famous for its blacksmith skills, has maintained the tradition which they consider a cheaper alternative to buying fireworks during the Lantern Festival. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

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ELEPHANT BATH
ELEPHANT BATH: A mahout washed an elephant in a pool at Gangaramaya Buddhist temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday. (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)

OFFICER’S FUNERAL
OFFICER’S FUNERAL: Thousands of police officers from around New York state attended the funeral of New York Police Department Officer Peter Figoski at St. Joseph’s Church in Babylon, N.Y. Mr. Figoski was killed last week during a botched robbery in Brooklyn. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

SPAIN SPEECH
SPAIN SPEECH: U.S. Ambassador to Spain Alan Solomont, right, and his colleague from France, Bruno Delaye, listened to a speech by Spain’s next Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, in Madrid Monday. Mr. Rajoy warned of tough times ahead in his first policy speech since winning election. (Emilio Naranjo/European Pressphoto Agency)

AT SCHOOL
AT SCHOOL: A refugee child, bottom center, sat with his sister while attending her school in a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)

CHINA PROTEST
CHINA PROTEST: Residents held banners during a rally in the village of Wukan, Guangdong Province, China, Monday. The unrest in the village began in September and escalated last week following the death of a protest leader in police custody. (David Gray/Reuters)

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