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With Incense and Prayer, Lunar New Year Arrives 

  • VOA News

Visitors wearing face masks against pollution take pictures of themselves at the temple fair at Ditan Park (the Temple of Earth) as the Lunar New Year of the rooster is celebrated, in Beijing, China, Jan. 28, 2017.

Many people across the Pacific region began celebrating the arrival Saturday of the Lunar New Year — the year of the rooster.

In China, thousands gathered at Beijing’s temples to light incense and to bow as they prayed for good fortune and health.

People burn incense sticks and pray for good fortune at Yonghegong Lama Temple on the first day of the lunar new year of the rooster in Beijing, China, Jan. 28, 2017.
People burn incense sticks and pray for good fortune at Yonghegong Lama Temple on the first day of the lunar new year of the rooster in Beijing, China, Jan. 28, 2017.

Some Beijing residents traveled to Badachu Park to ring a bell that dates back to the Ming Dynasty that reigned for more than 200 years beginning in the 14th century.

In China’s northeast Jilin Province, people welcomed in the new year with the Yangko, a folk dance.

In Taipei, people prayed for good fortune and prosperity at the historical Longshan temple.

In Injingak, South Korea, the Lunar New Year is a time to remember family members who were separated from their relatives decades ago. According to tradition, the eldest son makes offerings of rice cakes, fruit and fish that are placed on an altar.

At a new year’s observation on the frozen banks of the Imjin River, many elderly men made their offerings. Some walked away with tears at the memory of the loss of family members when the Korea peninsula was divided into North and South.

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