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Fireworks, Parades Begin Chinese Year of the Monkey

  • VOA News

Performers participate in a lion dance at Ditan Park to mark the first day of Chinese Lunar New Year in Beijing, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016.

Performers participate in a lion dance at Ditan Park to mark the first day of Chinese Lunar New Year in Beijing, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016.

Celebrations are kicking off around the world to mark the new Chinese year - the Year of the Monkey.

In Beijing, thousands of people flocked to Buddhist and Taoist temples to pray for good luck and fortune on the first day of Chinese New Year 4713, or visited open-air markets and festivals in neighborhood parks.

Unlike the Western holiday, which starts the night before and ends the next day, the traditional celebration of Chinese New Year goes for 15 days, ending with the annual Lantern Festival.

The holiday also marks the world's largest period of mass migration, as millions of people travel to be with their families for the holiday.

Dragon and lion dancers perform before a huge crowd in celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year, Feb. 8, 2016 at Manila's Chinatpwn district in Manila, Philippines.

Dragon and lion dancers perform before a huge crowd in celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year, Feb. 8, 2016 at Manila's Chinatpwn district in Manila, Philippines.

Restrictions on setting off fireworks coupled with an economic slowdown appeared to tame the celebrations across China.

Celebrations were missing in Taiwan, still dazed one day after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck. The streets in Tainan, near the earthquake's epicenter, remained empty as midnight approached.

Search and rescue workers prayed late Sunday at Wu-Long-Kuong Temple in Tainan, lighting incense and bowing in front of several Daoist and Buddhist deities.

But fireworks and parades welcomed the New Year in cities from Sydney to Lisbon.

Members of the Chinese community perform lion and dragon dance on a street as they mark Chinese New Year in Kolkata, India, Feb. 8, 2016.

Members of the Chinese community perform lion and dragon dance on a street as they mark Chinese New Year in Kolkata, India, Feb. 8, 2016.

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