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Chinese Lunar New Year 2013 (24 photo)

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Yesterday marked the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year 2013, the Year of the Snake. One of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, the snake signifies cleverness and tenacity and is associated with the element of fire. In the larger Chinese astrological cycle, this year is also associated with the element of water, which makes 2013 the Year of the Water Snake. The combination of the water and fire elements may signify turmoil in the months ahead. But people around the world ushered in the new year with displays of fireworks, family get-togethers, temple visits, and street festivals. Collected here are images from several countries where revelers have been welcoming the arrival of the Water Snake.

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