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2/2/2011 Beijing - China's 1.3 billion people ushered in the traditional lunar Year of the Rabbit Thursday with feasting and fireworks after hundreds of millions headed home for the annual Spring Festival.

Chinese New Year began at midnight, but the streets and shopping centers in the capital, Beijing, were deserted by early Wednesday evening as most people began celebrating at home by drinking and eating with friends amid an increasing frequency of fireworks explosions.  

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