News / Asia

China Welcomes Year of the Rabbit

A fireworks seller in Beijing enjoys brisk trade as New Year celebrations get underway
A fireworks seller in Beijing enjoys brisk trade as New Year celebrations get underway
Peter Simpson

China has ushered in the Year of the Rabbit with firework extravaganzas - an age-old custom to ward off evil spirits and beckon good fortune - and family gatherings.

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao told the Chinese in his annual New Year address the government will fight to control inflation and crack down on property speculators - two of the big issues facing the country over the next 12 months.

Families gathered outside their homes at the stroke of midnight Wednesday to see in the New Year and to express their hopes - and fears - for the next 12 months.

Li Yang works at the Forbidden City and spent New Year's Eve with her family making traditional dumplings before heading outside to let off fireworks. She says she hopes for sound economic growth for her family and her country.

She says she trusts the government, which "has the capability to take the country forward" and improve the lives of [the] Chinese people.

But not everyone is as optimistic. Ma Zhonghua, a taxi driver and is working over the holiday period, says it is becoming difficult to make ends meet. He thinks it is now impossible for him to make enough money to buy a home as property prices are too high.

But like most Chinese, he is keen to see a prosperous society.

The just-ended Year of the Tiger was mixed bag for China.

Its impressive economic growth continued but rising inflation and property prices caused hardship for many.

Labor strikes and wage increases also rocked the economy.

Like shoppers at the New Year markets, China’s government is concerned. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said in speech marking the New Year holiday that the government would try to keep overall consumer prices stable.

But he also warned the Chinese they would have to deal with thorny problems over the next year.

A Chinese woman enjoys the traditional fireworks to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Rabbit. Fireworks are an old Chinese custom and are used to scare off evil spirits and beckon in good fortune at the start of a New Lunar Year.
A Chinese woman enjoys the traditional fireworks to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Rabbit. Fireworks are an old Chinese custom and are used to scare off evil spirits and beckon in good fortune at the start of a New Lunar Year.

Despite the cautionary tone, most people in China are taking the opportunity over the week-long holiday to spend time with loved ones, let off fireworks and hope for peaceful and prosperous Year of the Rabbit.

Youngsters shout "Happy New Year!”

South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam also are celebrating the New Year this week. Businesses in those countries have largely shut down and families gather for traditional feasts. 


You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid