A man burns incense as he prays at the Longhua Buddhist Temple on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Shanghai
A billion-plus Asians have welcomed the Year of the Dragon with a cacophony of fireworks, hoping the mightiest sign in the Chinese zodiac will usher in the wealth and power it represents.
From Malaysia to South Korea, millions of people travelled huge distances to reunite with their families for the lunar new year on Monday - the most important holiday of the year for many in Asia - indulging in feasts or watching dragon dances.
As the clock struck midnight, Beijing's skyline lit up with colour as families across the Chinese capital set off boxes and boxes of fireworks to ward off evil spirits in the new year -- a scene repeated across the country.
Pollution levels in the city, which has come under fire for its bad air quality, spiked in the early hours of Monday morning as fireworks filled the skies with particulates, before falling back down again, official data showed.