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Happy year of the horse: Flickr photo of the day

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(Photo: Sharleen Chao / Flickr)

These marvelous paper “sky lanterns” are actually little hot air balloons. They are floating aloft in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Made of oiled rice paper and bamboo frames, their design has changed little since the third century BC.

Many areas of Asia do not permit sky lanterns because they can start fires. But this photograph, taken by Sharleen Chao at the Sky Lantern Festival in northern Taiwan’s Pingxi District, captures the crowd welcoming the year of the Horse.

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