Chinese give Year of Snake raucous, colourful welcome
BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese welcomed the arrival of the Year of the Snake with raucous celebrations on Saturday, setting off a cacophony of firecrackers in the streets and sending fireworks blazing into the sky to bring good fortune.
Celebrations will carry on into the early hours of Sunday, officially the first day of the Lunar New Year.
Residents of Beijing braved freezing temperatures to let off brightly coloured fireworks, with clouds of smoke in the air, red wrappings from firecrackers covering streets and explosions rattling windows.
A plea by the government to set off fewer fireworks to help deal with Beijing's notorious air pollution seemed to fall on deaf ears.