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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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Lunar New Year, Chinese New Year, CNY, events,

Lunar New Year Ushers in the Year of the Snake

Starting today, more than 1.5 billion people around the world will celebrate the Lunar New Year—a time for gathering with family, honoring ancestors, and eating! The holiday is celebrated at the beginning of the year in locations that utilize the lunar calendar, and this year marks the Year of the Snake, one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac.

In China, the Lunar New Year is celebrated as the Chinese New Year, or “Spring Festival,” and is one of the most important Chinese holidays. Instagrammers are sharing photos from the 2013 festivities, including traditions like giving children lucky money in red envelopes, hanging lanterns, setting off fireworks, and performing the iconic dragon and lion dances.

To catch a glimpse into today’s festivities, be sure to browse through the #lunarnewyear, #LNY, #chinesenewyear, and #CNY hashtags.

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new york fashion week, nyfw, MBFW, events,

New York City Gathers for Fall Fashion Week

To scoop the latest fashions, be sure to browse photos at the Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week location page and visit the #NYFW and #MBFW hashtags.

Thursday marked the start of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (@mbfashionweek) in New York, where people from all corners of the fashion industry gather to showcase months of sketching, sewing, and planning for their Fall 2013 collections. This year, more than 90 designers are presenting their work.

Even though Fashion Week is currently threatened by an impending blizzard, many are shouting that the show must go on, refusing to let the predicted three feet of snow lead to show cancellations. Although some designers have already been forced to postpone shows due to delivery and flight delays, others are preparing for the weather by adding extra layers to their tents and offering live streams of their shows online.

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Sapporo Snow Festival, さっぽろ雪まつり, events,

Exploring the Sapporo Snow Festival (さっぽろ雪まつり)

Want to see more photos of the festival? Visit the 大通公園 (Odori Park), つどーむ, and すすきの location pages.

The city of Sapporo in northern Japan has hosted its weeklong snow festival every year since 1950. The first festival had only six participants––local high school students who built six modest snow statues in Odori Park. Now, millions of people visit the festival to view over 200 elaborate snow statues and ice sculptures. Often the statues depict notable events, places or people from the previous year. This year, there are replicas of Thailand’s Wat Bendamabophit Temple, Taipei’s Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and Japan’s Kabuki-za Theater, as well as sculptures of anime characters Hatsune Miku, Kasane Teto and Sekka Yufu.

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Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, literature, events,

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice Turns 200

"You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." - Mr. Darcy

On January 28, 1813, Jane Austen’s publisher Thomas Egerton released her second novel, Pride and Prejudice. Austen finished writing the novel in 1797 under the title First Impressions, but after prospective publishers declined to even see the manuscript, she heavily edited the story over the following 14 years until Egerton bought it for £110 ($172 present-day USD). Today marks the beginning of festivals, conferences and Austen readathons that “Janeites” have planned throughout the year to celebrate the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s tumultuous courtship. Two centuries later, Pride and Prejudice remains one of the most-taught and best-loved classics in Western literature.

Keep an eye on the Jane Austen Centre and Jane Austen’s Home location pages for photos from the upcoming festivals.

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events, sundance film festival,

Sundance Film Festival 2013 in Park City, Utah

Want to see more photos from Sundance? Be sure to follow @sundanceinstitute, @sundancechannel, and visit the Sundance Film Festival location page, as well as the official Sundance curated hashtag page!

The Sundance Film Festival, one of the largest independent film festivals in the United States, is currently taking place in and around Park City, Utah, through January 27. Sundance Institute (@sundanceinstitute), a non-profit organization, has managed Sundance Film Festival with actor Robert Redford at the helm since 1985. Their mission is to discover and develop independent artists.

Sundance’s popularity has exploded in recent years and now boasts over 119 dramatic and documentary feature films, dozens of short movies, panel discussions, celebrity sightings and more. Sundance has helped launch the careers of several blockbuster directors, and those in attendance hope to see the next Academy-Award-contending independent film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt—actor, director, producer, and founder of open-collaborative production company hitRECord—will be hosting this year’s awards ceremony.

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internationalkitefestival, uttarayan, events,

The 25th Annual International Kite Festival in Gujarat

On the days in the Hindu calendar when winter begins turning into summer, known as Uttarayan, the skies over the state of Gujarat, India, are filled with thousands of colorful kites. Families wake before dawn to gather on rooftops and in the roadways, filling the blue skies with their homemade kites in celebration of warm days ahead. The most popular destination during Uttarayn is Ahmedabad, the official location for the International Kite Festival, where enthusiasts from around the world gather to fly highly unusual kites of all shapes and sizes and participate in kite racing competitions.

Photos: St. Patrick’s Day

events, photo feature, st. patrick's day,

This past Saturday, green-wearing, shamrock-rocking St. Patrick’s day celebrants flooded streets and bars around the world. The first Feast of St. Patrick in the 1600s honored the patron saint of Ireland and the arrival of Christianity in the country. Since then, the holiday has morphed into a celebration of Irish culture world round with particularly enthusiastic hubs of ex-pats in the United States, Canada, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia. 

 

To view more photos of St. Patrick’s day celebrations, search the hashtag #stpatricksday.

Photos by @titolin1, @buffalony, @shannonbanannan, @allenchoo, @pirotman80, @bisyar, @kthd, @bryvrgs, @erickapeace, @ilukina and @crookedflight.

Spotlight: Japan One Year After Tohoku

events, japanese earthquake, photo feature, spotlight, japan,

A year ago this week Japan was hit by the Tohoku earthquake. It measured at a 9.0 magnitude, the most powerful known earthquake to have ever hit the island nation. The quake triggered a 133 foot tsunami, moved Honshu 8 feet east and shifted the Earth on its axis by estimates of somewhere between 4 and 10 inches. 

Over the past year, many of our amazing Japanese Instagram users have captured scenes from all parts of the country — the bustling untouched cities and the rural northern towns close to the epicenter. We wanted to honor the anniversary of Tohoku by highlighting images that offer us a window into what the country looks like now, one year after the earthquake. 

by kotori88

by dop_dot

by luuucho21

by tayori88

by mgowild

by chiestylee

by natsukismix

by hiparika

by na0_7o

by comycomo

by 4ksh

Photo Feature Friday: New York Fashion Week 2012

events, nyfw, photo feature,

For the past week New York City was the center of attention in the fashion world while New York Fashion Week was underway. With over 300 designers presenting their fall 2012 collections, there were plenty of behind the scenes and runway photographs shared with Instagram through the tag #nyfw. We were even the lucky recipients of a Fashion 2.0 Award for the “Next Big Thing in Tech”!

Take a look at some of our favorite images from NYFW 2012 below.

Photos by thewallgroup, amtendler, melissachrisp, bfa_nyc, oscarprgirl, omgitsmeg, wsj, harrybeeenyc, bryanteslava, _frommetoyou, eholmeswsj & shamphel.

Instagrammers in Abu Dhabi for Volvo Ocean Race

events, user feature, brands,

Puma (@puma) flew a few lucky Instagrammers to Abu Dhabi to photograph the Volvo Ocean Race, a 9-month yacht race around the world, held every three years. The Instagrammers at the event will be sharing photos to their own feed and tagging them #marmostro, which is the name of Puma’s boat and means “Sea Monster” in Italian. Instagrammers just arrived a couple days ago and will be there until this Sunday. Follow these users to keep up on the action!

PUMA (@puma)

Mar Mostro (@marmostro)

James Nord (@jamesnord)

Brian DiFeo (@bridif)

Anthony D. (@takinyerphoto

The Impossible Cool (@impossiblecool)

Jamie Beck (@_frommetoyou)

Kevin Burg (@kevinburg)

Yimmy Yayo (@yimmyayo)

You can read more about the event on Mashable.