News / Asia

Asians Usher in Lunar New Year

Asians Usher In Lunar New Yeari
X
January 31, 2014 5:15 AM
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. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.

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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid