China marks firework-free Lunar New Year, millions celebrate around the globe – National


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Beijing started the 12 months of the Canine Friday with eerily silent streets, as the standard thunderous bursts of firecrackers and fireworks have been silenced by a strict ban that sacrifices custom within the identify of an anti-pollution marketing campaign.

In a single day, police patrolled abandoned neighbourhoods within the Chinese language capital — usually abuzz with pleasure because the nation welcomes the arrival of the Lunar New 12 months.

“I by no means imagined it might be this quiet! It’s often packed,” stated a Beijing resident surnamed Wang who had been out within the metropolis centre following a standard New 12 months’s Eve household dinner.

A migrant employee from neighbouring Hebei province surnamed Zhu stated that with out the firecrackers, “the magic of the New 12 months is gone”.

READ MORE: Astrological predictions for the 12 months of the Canine

The low-key celebrations have been in stark distinction to earlier years, when the streets have been full of Beijingers setting off firecrackers and the sky was lit by near-constant firework shows, unleashing a deafening thunder till daybreak.

However the custom, conceived as a method to push back evil spirits, has this yr been focused by authorities anxious to decrease winter air pollution ranges.

Forward of New 12 months celebrations, a whole lot of thousands and thousands of Chinese language journey again to their dwelling cities, typically on crowded trains, making it on this planet’s largest annual human migration.

WATCH: The 12 months of the Canine

In Shanghai 1000’s flocked to temples to wish for luck.

Whereas in Nepal, exiled Tibetans dwelling in Kathmandu carried pictures of their non secular chief, the Dalai Lama, because the neighborhood — estimated to quantity of their 1000’s — gathered to have a good time Lhosar, the Tibetan Lunar New 12 months, with conventional music and meals.

Hong Kong’s parade came about within the neighbourhood of Tsim Sha Tsui and featured over 30 floats and performers, together with acts from the Hong Kong Cheung Keung Martial Arts Affiliation and the Hong Kong Rope Skipping Academy.

READ MORE: Edmonton celebrates Chinese language Lunar New 12 months

The Lunar New 12 months was additionally marked by spectators on the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

The day started with locals and overseas vacationers munching on rice truffles in broth on the Snow Pageant close to the Olympic Stadium.

South Koreans in conventional garments posed for footage alongside the ice sculptures that dotted the park whereas kids performed with giant sticks that work as a form of cube in a standard Korean board sport referred to as yut.

As is customary for Lunar New 12 months, kids obtained packets of money from older kinfolk.

“I like New 12 months‘s Day as a result of I obtain plenty of cash,” stated six-yr-old Lee Chae-won.

WATCH: Lunar New 12 months symbols and traditions

Russian Buddhists within the Siberian area of Buryatia close to the Mongolian border on Friday kicked off celebrations that can final nearly a month.

On the Atsagatsky datsan, or temple, 50 kilometres (31 miles) exterior the regional capital of Ulan-Ude, believers got here to wish and listen to astrological predictions for the subsequent yr.

“The poor will get poorer, the wealthy will get richer, the summer time and autumn shall be wet, however usually will probably be an excellent yr,” the temple’s lama Tarba Dorzhiyev, 61, informed them.

Believers additionally celebrated with festive meals together with conventional buuzy, a kind of huge steamed dumpling crammed with meat.

“The gods supply us one other yr of life they usually want for us to be pleased,” stated 57-year-old Svetlana Tsybikzhapova, a type of busily getting ready the dish.

WATCH: Discover ways to make fortune cookies

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday launched a message of congratulations to Buddhists, saying that “it’s essential that Russia’s Buddhist neighborhood rigorously preserves the priceless ethical and non secular heritage of its ancestors, their unique ideas and customs.”

Russia, the place the vast majority of the inhabitants describe themselves as Orthodox Christian, has round 900,000 Buddhists dwelling in Siberia, close to the border with Mongolia and round Lake Baikal, in addition to additional west within the area of Kalmykia on the Caspian Sea.

Buddhists, like different non secular teams, suffered persecution from the Soviet authorities, however the post-Soviet years have seen a revival, with lecturers of Tibetan Buddhism from different nations enjoying a serious function.

WATCH: Learn how to make a Peking BBQ duck hotpot

New York Metropolis is celebrating the lunar new yr with artworks and performances that spotlight an eight-day competition to usher within the 12 months of the Canine.

Lincoln Heart’s David Geffen Corridor will host lunar new yr celebration for youngsters on Friday that includes a 40-foot scroll created by schoolchildren. Metropolis college students have Friday off for the vacation celebrated by many Asian cultures.

Festivities additionally will embody a dragon dance and 12 months of the Canine dance at Lincoln Heart Plaza at 5 p.m. on Feb. 20.

The New York Philharmonic will carry out a lunar new yr live performance and gala at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 at David Geffen Corridor.

WATCH: Drone footage captures household of 500+ posing for picture in China

The Lunar New 12 months was additionally being marked in South America. Hundreds of individuals lined the streets of Lima’s Chinatown to have a good time.

Conventional dancing lions and dragons made their method by the crowds in celebration of the brand new 12 months of the Canine within the Chinese language zodiac calendar.

Companies all through the neighbourhood go away providing – heads of lettuce – to entice the dancing lions and dragons to their institutions in hopes of being blessed for the brand new yr.

In Peru, individuals of Chinese language ethnicity make up not less than 10 p.c of the inhabitants.

Chinese language immigrants arrived to Peru about 161 years in the past.

— With recordsdata from the Related Press and Reuters

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