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China celebrates colourful Lantern Festival

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image captionThe event is also known as the Spring Lantern Festival in China

Villages and cities all over China have been transformed into a sea of bright light to mark the end of Chinese New Year celebrations.

The Lantern Festival comes two weeks after Chinese New Year’s day, which was on 12 February.

It is a time for family reunions and visits to crowded lantern-lighting shows and some riddle-solving.

But last year’s festivities were muted because of the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

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image captionIn Beijing, many visitors took selfies at a colourful lantern show in the capital

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image captionA rainy day did not stop these people from admiring beautiful lanterns in Wenzhou, eastern Zhejiang province

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image captionPerformers in Wuhan – where the Covid outbreak is believed to have started – wore face masks as they prepared for the traditional dragon dance

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image captionThis woman danced inside a huge red lantern in Shenyang, north-eastern Liaoning province

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image captionThese train attendants – dressed in traditional costumes – played music and sang songs for passengers in Zhengzhou

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image captionBearers brought out the traditional Chinese red sedan chairs in the central city of Enshi

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image captionIn Chengdu, south-western Sichuan province, crowds flocked to see the lighting of LED lanterns

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image captionDating back to the Han Dynasty, the 2,000-year old festival sees cities, such as Binzhou in northern Shandong province, transformed by lanterns and fireworks

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image captionLast year, many festivities were cancelled as China banned mass gatherings because of the coronavirus outbreak

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