Jan 23 - Celebrations rang out in Beijing and Tokyo on Sunday night, marking the start of the new year. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
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CORRECTION: CORRECTING DATELINE IN JAPAN TO YOKOHAMA, NOT NOT TOKYO. MAKING CLEAR THAT THE NEW YEAR CELEBRANTS IN YOKOHAMA ARE MAINLY THE CHINESE COMMUNITY.
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Celebrations rang out in Beijing and Yokohama on Sunday night , marking the start of the new year.
According to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, the year of the dragon begins on Monday (January 23).
Fireworks exploded into the sky in Beijing and they will be permitted until February 6 in the capital.
Traditionally, fireworks are believed to have been first set off to scare off a man-eating monster, and they have now become an indispensable feature of the nationwide celebrations.
The Lunar New Year is an important event in China, as it is the only holiday in the year that most people get to spend with their family and relatives.
Elsewhere, firecrackers and prayers rang out at midnight in Yokohama, at Japan's Kantei-Byo Temple.
Despite Monday being a regular working day in Japan, several hundred, mainly the Chinese community and tourists, came out to enjoy the festivities in the surprisingly temperate weather.