Chinese New Year 2014: Millions Celebrate as Year of Wooden Horse Gallops in China [PHOTOS]

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By Ankita Mehta | January 31, 2014 3:57 PM EST

A giant lantern depicting a horse is seen among Chinese New Year decorations at Yuyuan Garden, in downtown Shanghai, January 25, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A giant lantern depicting a horse is seen among Chinese New Year decorations at Yuyuan Garden, in downtown Shanghai, January 25, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

This Friday, 31 January, marks the beginning of the New Year in Chinese calendar. The year of the Wooden Horse was welcomed by millions with prayers, fireworks, dances and loud celebrations across the globe on Thursday night.

Friday marks the first day of the Chinese New Year, which is also called the spring festival. The New Year is celebrated for 15 days and will end with the Lantern Festival or the Shangyuan Festival. Chinese communities considered Lunar New Year to be the biggest and most important festival.

The Year of Wooden Horse, which deals with fire, wood and energy, re-started after a traditional 12-year cycle.

A huge number of Chinese nationals from across the world went back to their home country to celebrate the New Year. The occassion was also welcomed by millions across the world with firecrackers shows.

People from Beijing to Bangkok and Seoul to Singapore are visiting temples and lighting incense sticks to mark the first day of the New Year. Thousands of artists performed in Beijing at the opening ceremony of the Chinese New Year.

In Melbourne, a 100-metre long dragon, made up of six tonnes of steel, 1,600 metres of fabric and 2,000 light globes, was brought to life to ring in the New Year, according to ABC news.

Even Google celebrated the New Year with a doodle of an animated rocking horse.

Check out the pictures of New Year celebrations here.

A giant lantern depicting a horse is seen among Chinese New Year decorations at Yuyuan Garden, in downtown Shanghai, January 25, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A giant lantern depicting a horse is seen among Chinese New Year decorations at Yuyuan Garden, in downtown Shanghai, January 25, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A 6.5 metres trojan stands amidst flowers ahead of the upcoming Chinese lunar New Year in Yilan county, southern Taiwan, January 23, 2014. REUTERS/Patrick Lin
A 6.5 metres trojan stands amidst flowers ahead of the upcoming Chinese lunar New Year in Yilan county, southern Taiwan, January 23, 2014. REUTERS/Patrick Lin
Divers perform a dragon dance as they
Divers perform a dragon dance as they "bless" the shipwreck habitat of the S.E.A. Aquarium as part of the festive Chinese New Year celebrations in Sentosa, Singapore January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su
People rush to plant the first joss stick of the Chinese New Year at the stroke of midnight at a temple in Singapore early January 31, 2014.REUTERS/Edgar Su
People rush to plant the first joss stick of the Chinese New Year at the stroke of midnight at a temple in Singapore early January 31, 2014.REUTERS/Edgar Su
A chef shows a cake decorated with a white chocolate in the shape of a horse, during a photo opportunity at a kitchen of Kerry's Pantry, ahead of the upcoming Chinese lunar New Year, in Beijing January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
A chef shows a cake decorated with a white chocolate in the shape of a horse, during a photo opportunity at a kitchen of Kerry's Pantry, ahead of the upcoming Chinese lunar New Year, in Beijing January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
A worker tests the lights in a horse-shaped lantern during a photo opportunity ahead of the upcoming Chinese lunar New Year at a lantern factory outskirt of Beijing January 22, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
A worker tests the lights in a horse-shaped lantern during a photo opportunity ahead of the upcoming Chinese lunar New Year at a lantern factory outskirt of Beijing January 22, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Fireworks explode amid heavy hazy as part of Chinese new year celebrations, in central Beijing early January 31, 2014.REUTERS/Jason Lee
Fireworks explode amid heavy hazy as part of Chinese new year celebrations, in central Beijing early January 31, 2014.REUTERS/Jason Lee
A man takes picture of fireworks celebrating the start of the Chinese New Year in Beijing early January 31, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
A man takes picture of fireworks celebrating the start of the Chinese New Year in Beijing early January 31, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
People walk past a giant illuminated horse on display during Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore's Chinatown, January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne
People walk past a giant illuminated horse on display during Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore's Chinatown, January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

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(Photo: / )
A giant lantern depicting a horse is seen among Chinese New Year decorations at Yuyuan Garden, in downtown Shanghai, January 25, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
(Photo: / )
A giant lantern depicting a horse is seen among Chinese New Year decorations at Yuyuan Garden, in downtown Shanghai, January 25, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
(Photo: / )
A 6.5 metres trojan stands amidst flowers ahead of the upcoming Chinese lunar New Year in Yilan county, southern Taiwan, January 23, 2014. REUTERS/Patrick Lin
(Photo: / )
Divers perform a dragon dance as they "bless" the shipwreck habitat of the S.E.A. Aquarium as part of the festive Chinese New Year celebrations in Sentosa, Singapore January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su
(Photo: / )
People rush to plant the first joss stick of the Chinese New Year at the stroke of midnight at a temple in Singapore early January 31, 2014.REUTERS/Edgar Su
(Photo: / )
A chef shows a cake decorated with a white chocolate in the shape of a horse, during a photo opportunity at a kitchen of Kerry's Pantry, ahead of the upcoming Chinese lunar New Year, in Beijing January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
(Photo: / )
A worker tests the lights in a horse-shaped lantern during a photo opportunity ahead of the upcoming Chinese lunar New Year at a lantern factory outskirt of Beijing January 22, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
(Photo: / )
Fireworks explode amid heavy hazy as part of Chinese new year celebrations, in central Beijing early January 31, 2014.REUTERS/Jason Lee
(Photo: / )
A man takes picture of fireworks celebrating the start of the Chinese New Year in Beijing early January 31, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
(Photo: / )
People walk past a giant illuminated horse on display during Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore's Chinatown, January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne
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