News / Asia

Asians Usher in Lunar New Year

Zlatica Hoke
People in many Asian countries as well as Asian communities elsewhere in the world are marking the start of a new lunar year with family gatherings, fireworks and street parties. According to the ancient Chinese horoscope, the Year of the Horse began Friday.
 
The lunar new year is the longest and most important holiday in China. It begins with the new moon on the first day and ends on the full moon 15 days later. It is also known as the Spring Festival.
 
Chinese President Xi Jinping extended Lunar New Year greetings to Chinese people at home and abroad during a visit to China's Inner Mongolia region this week.
 
"The Spring Festival is a traditional Chinese festival, and also a festival shared by all Chinese people around the globe. I'd like to take this opportunity to extend my New Year greetings to Chinese people of all ethnic groups, and the compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, as well as the overseas Chinese around the globe. I wish everyone good health, happy family and all the best," said Xi.
 
During this important celebration in the Asian culture, it is traditional to wear red clothes, to ward off evil spirits. People also make New Year's wishes.

WATCH: Related video from VOA
Year of the Horse Beginsi
X
January 31, 2014 10:49 AM
Thousands of people in Beijing spent the first day of the Lunar New Year praying at temples.
 
Other Asian countries also celebrate the lunar new year, although the start days may vary. In Vietnam, the holiday is known as Tet and falls on Sunday this year. Food stores in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, are crowded with shoppers getting fruit ahead of the holiday.
 
"I buy fruits to place on the family altar, to pay respects to our ancestors," said Ton Nu Thi Cam, a shopper picking up fruits.
 
In Japan, crowds in Yokohama's Chinatown welcomed the Year of the Horse on Thursday with a countdown and lion dances.
 
Celebrations of the lunar new year are also big in the West, where enthusiastic crowds join their Asian friends to mark the occasion. 
 
In London's Chinatown, Madame Tussauds Museum participated in the annual event Wednesday with its world renowned wax figures of celebrities.
 
"London celebrates Chinese New Year every year, and we were really keen to be part of those huge celebrations, and we wanted to do something a bit special with our wax figures, so we've actually loaned the figures of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan from our attractions in Asia, and we're just delighted they're here, albeit in a wet London, with us to celebrate," said Nicole Fenner of Madam Tussauds Musuem.
 
Chinese red lanterns add to the festive atmosphere. The lantern festival on the 15th day will mark the end of the Chinese New Year holiday.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid