Chinese New Year celebrations around the world – in pictures

February 12 kicked off the occasion, with events welcoming the Year of the Ox

People gather on Mott Street for Lunar New Year Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York. The celebration marks the Year of the Ox in the Chinese calendar. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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Celebrations for Chinese New Year started on Friday, February 12, with people around the world finding ways to welcome the Year of the Ox. Festivities – which run for 16 days – mark  the beginning of a new year under the traditional Chinese lunar calendar.

Scroll through out gallery above to see how the world celebrated Chinese New Year.

The occasion is a time for family togetherness, as well as a way to ring in a prosperous and auspicious new year through rituals and traditions.

From burning incense at temples in China, to an aquarium in Indonesia dedicating an underwater show to the Year of the Ox, there were plenty of things happening – despite the toned-down nature of events due to the pandemic.

In US capital Washington, the Smithsonian's National Zoo celebrated by feeding its five-month-old giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji a special snack for the Lunar New Year. The zoo gave the cub sweet potato paste smeared on to a red toy – red symbolises prosperity in Chinese culture, accompanied by a biscuit.