Red lanterns hanging on trees during the Lantern Festival in Chengdu, Sichuan, China
© Philippe Lejeanvre/Getty Image
Illuminating a new year. Lantern Festival
Lunar New Year festivities last 15 days, culminating in a party known as the Lantern Festival. Here in Chengdu, the capital of south-west China’s Sichuan province, it's said that the Lantern Festival has been celebrated since the year 711, although its origins are believed to date back more than 2,000 years. This year's festivities will take place on 15 February, with homes and businesses across the city draped in lanterns of all shapes and sizes, often in the traditional red silk with gold trim you see here.
The Lantern Festival is celebrated across China and in other countries that follow Chinese cultural traditions. People fill the streets with dancing, fireworks, children's games and enjoy special foods including tangyuan - balls of rice flour loaded with sweet fillings and simmered in a soup. After sundown, people light the lanterns to welcome a new start as the Lunar New Year festivities come to a close.