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Asia Welcomes Year of the Pig with Banquets, Temple Visits

A woman holds sticks of incense as she prays at the Lama Temple in Beijing, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Chinese people are celebrating the first day of the Lunar New Year on Tuesday, the Year of the Pig on the Chinese zodiac.

Asia is welcoming the lunar year of the pig with visits to temples, family banquets and the world's biggest travel spree.

The streets of Beijing and other major Chinese cities were quiet and empty Tuesday after millions of people left to visit relatives or travel abroad during the year's biggest family holiday.

Families gathered at home for multigenerational banquets. Shops, companies and government offices closed for the week.

In Hong Kong, worshippers stood in line for hours at the Wong Tai Sin Temple to welcome the lunar new year by lighting incense.

China's railway ministry forecast mainland travelers would make 413 million trips during the three-week period around the holiday.