China marks Lunar New Year with prayers, incense, fireworks
The Chinese Lunar New Year kicked off Saturday ushering in the beginning of the Year of Rooster and the beginning of spring.
According to the Chinese zodiac, people born in the Year of the Rooster are brave, responsible and punctual.
Thousands visited Beijing’s major temples on Saturday, the first day of the Year of the Rooster. Wearing heavy winter coats, they lit incense sticks and bowed as they prayed for good fortune and health. As many as 80,000 people were expected at the Lama Temple in central Beijing, state television reported.
Across Asia and the world, revelers set off firecrackers, chowed on dumplings, dressed and danced in traditional costumes and pray at shrines.
Millions are expected to attend the festival across the world over the next two weeks.
Large crowds gathered in Hong Kong and Malaysia on Friday night to celebrate Lunar New Year.
In Rio de Janeiro, crowds watched a dragon dance and a performance of tai chi in front of a picture of Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue.
In celebration of the Year of the Fire Rooster, New York brought in the holiday with fireworks Thursday night over the Hudson River.
In Washington DC, thousands of people filled the courtyard of the Smithsonian American Art Museum Saturday for a Chinese Lunar New Year celebration, which featured dragon dances and other traditional Chinese folk art forms.
In Brussels, a special parade was organized by the Chinese Embassy in Belgium and the municipal government of Brussels to celebrate the New Year. Chinese Ambassador to Belgium Qu Xing said that Chinese New Year activities help people of other countries better understand Chinese culture and the Chinese New Year is playing an ever increasing important role in the world.
Hong Kong held its annual Chinese New Year Night Parade 2017 on the main roads of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, on Jan. 28. The parade, sponsored by Cathay Pacific International, featured an array of overseas performances — stilt walkers, cheerleaders and folk dances — and present local performances from traditional lion dances to magic shows, percussion and modern dances to entertain spectators and tourists.