Photo Gallery Mysticism and the New Year in China

Prepare for the Year of the Pig. On the weekend, China will celebrate the Lunar New Year. It's just one of many festivals that are based on the unique blend of superstition and philosophy that is Taoism.
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Despite China's crackdown on most religions, Taoism has managed to flourish under communism. Here, Taoism devotees perform tai chi chuan at the end of the Second China Taoism Culture Festival in Chengdu last summer.

Foto: AFP
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Taoism is a unique blend of life philosophy, superstition and religion. The Chineselunar new year, which will be celebrated on the weekend, contains many elements handed down by Taoism.

Foto: AFP
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During Chinese New Year, many visit temples to pray to their favorite god. The Latern Festival is an important part of the celebration. These lanterns in Malaysia are shaped like pigs because the next year will be the Year of the Pig.

Foto: AP
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Cities across China decorate themselves with red lanterns for the New Year's festival. On the day of the festival, dragons take to the streets to scare away evil spirits.

Foto: Getty Images
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China is expecting a baby boom next year. The Year of the Pig brings good luck along with it, and many parents want their children to benefit. This pig is part of a show at Nanning Zoo.

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A vendor in Chengdu with a bicycle loaded down with hand-made lanterns in preparation for the Chinese New Year festival.

Foto: AP
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Taiwanese praying in the Lungshan Temple in Taipei ahead of the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration.

Foto: AP