Home » Asia welcomes the Lunar New Year with visits to temples and celebrations

Asia welcomes the Lunar New Year with visits to temples and celebrations

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Asia welcomes the Lunar New Year with visits to temples and celebrations

People in Asia welcomed the Lunar New Year on Saturday with family gatherings, festivals and visits to temples to request blessings.

This is the most important holiday in China, a time to gather with family and friends and enjoy festive banquets. Each year is named after one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, and this is the Year of the Dragon, which in Chinese communities is considered the most favorable.

In China, the Year of the Dragon is also very popular for giving birth, because many couples hope that their children will possess the qualities that the dragon symbolizes: strength, power and success.

Chinese dragon dancers perform at Dongyue Temple on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Beijing, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Many residents in Hong Kong dressed in red, the lucky color in Chinese culture, to celebrate the beginning of the new year. At their gatherings they savored rice and turnip cakes, and children received red envelopes with money as a blessing from their married relatives. The outdoor displays and floral displays set up for the occasion offered revelers the chance to pose for eye-catching photos.

In Beijing, crowds flocked to temple fairs to watch traditional folk performances and buy snacks and artwork at stalls. Many lit fire sticks to pray for good health and fortune.

In addition to the Chinese-majority societies of the Greater China region, the holiday is also celebrated in South Korea, Vietnam and in the Chinese diaspora. In Myanmar and Malaysia, worshipers visited temples to ask for good luck and blessings. In Dharamshala, India, exiled Tibetan monks also participated in ceremonies to mark the new year.

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