Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed
January 26, 2009
The Lunar New Year
The Lunar New Year, which falls on Jan. 26, is the biggest holiday for Chinese. It is a time of lavish spending, when loved ones exchange "hong bao," or red envelopes stuffed with money, and gather for meals of dumplings. Beijing's temples held fairs Sunday with food stalls and performances such as lion dances amid the sound of fireworks being set off across the city. The official Xinhua News Agency said the government relaxed its strict fireworks ban until Feb. 9. Millions crowded China's railway stations to try to get home for the holiday, one of the world's biggest human migrations. Premier Wen Jiabao visited survivors at the site of China's devastating earthquake Sunday as people prepared to celebrate the traditional Lunar New Year on the eve of the Year of the Ox. (25 images)

lnrnyear01.jpg
An elderly couple sits under lantern sculptures of mandarin orange trees as they gather to usher in the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year, in Singapore, Saturday, Jan. 24. AP / Wong Maye-E


lnrnyear02.jpg
An ethnic Chinese man plays Tai Chi under Chinese traditional lanterns on display at a temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Jan. 22. Chinese around the world will celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Ox, which falls on Jan. 26. AP / Lai Seng Sin



lnrnyear03.jpg
Chinese policemen guard an opening ceremony of a temple fair held to celebrate the Chinese New Year on Jan. 25, in Beijing, China. People in China's capital have started to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Ox on the lunar calendar, which falls on the 26th of January. Getty Images / Guang Niu



lnrnyear04.jpg
Dancers dressed in traditional Chinese costumes perform lion dance at the opening ceremony of a temple fair on the eve of Chinese New Year in Beijing, China, Sunday, Jan. 25. Temple fairs opened across the city as Chinese prepared to celebrate the Year of the Ox. AP / Elizabeth Dalziel



lnrnyear05.jpg
Dragon dancers from the Johannesburg Chinese community celebrate Chinese New Year, the Year of the Ox, in Johannesburg on Jan. 25. AFP / Getty Images / Alexander Joe



lnrnyear06.jpg
A family of three look at an ice sculpture in the shape of a Buddha at the fourth Snow and Ice Tourism Fair held to usher in the Chinese New Year of the Ox on Jan. 20 in Xining of Qinghai Province, China. Chinese People are preparing for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Ox on the lunar calendar which falls on the 26th of January. Getty Images / China Photos



lnrnyear07.jpg
Buddhists rush to stick incense sticks in an urn at a local Chinese Buddhist temple on Monday, Jan. 26, in Singapore. Every year, hundreds of Buddhist believers gather at a temple where they will vie to place their incense sticks in an urn at midnight marking an auspicious start to the Chinese lunar new year. AP / Wong Maye-E



lnrnyear08.jpg
Buddhist light their incense sticks outside a local Chinese Buddhist temple on Monday Jan. 26, in Singapore. Every year, hundreds of Buddhist believers gather at a temple where they will vie to place their incense sticks in an urn at midnight marking an auspicious start to the Chinese lunar new year. AP / Wong Maye-E



lnrnyear09.jpg
A child looks at lantern decorations put up for the Chinese Lunar New in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan province, Friday, Jan. 23. A one-week Chinese New Year holiday begins on Sunday, Jan. 25. AP / China Photos



lnrnyear10.jpg
A man walks past an ox lantern Chinese New Year decoration at a shopping mall in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Jan. 14. Squeezed by the global slowdown, consumers and companies in China and other countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year, which begins this year on Jan. 26, are slashing their spending on traditionally lavish gifts, liquor and banquets. AP / Vincent Yu



lnrnyear11.jpg
A woman walks beneath decorations at Longtan park in Beijing on Jan. 22 as temple fair preparations for Lunar New Year celebrations ringing in the Year of the Ox, which begins on Jan. 26, are underway. China's economy slowed dramatically at the end of 2008 as the full force of the global crisis hit the nation, dragging growth to a seven-year low, official data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. AFP / Getty Images / Frederic J. Brown



lnrnyear12.jpg
People buy fireworks in Beijing on Jan. 23 ahead of Lunar New Year celebrations which will ring in the Year of the Ox on Jan. 26. Bamboo stems filled with gunpowder that were burnt to create small explosions were once used in ancient China to drive away evil spirits and in modern times, this method has eventually evolved into the traditional use of firecrackers during the festive new year season. AFP / Getty Images / Frederic J. Brown



lnrnyear13.jpg
Passengers walk in the terminal building at Beijing West Railway Station on Jan. 23, 2008. The Lunar New Year falls this year on Jan. 26, but for the Chinese rail network the period between departures and returns lasts 40 days, with passenger numbers expected to peak between Jan. 21 and 24. AFP / Getty Images / Liu Jin



lnrnyear14.jpg
Passengers place their luggage onto the rack on a train before departing from Beijing West Railway Station on Jan. 23, 2008. Many Chinese have decided to combine their annual holidays with the festival because it falls this year in January, a month that includes three of the annual 14 national holidays. AFP / Getty Images / Liu Jin



lnrnyear15.jpg
People from the earthquake hit Province of Sichuan practise a Dragon Dance at the Hongbai Township on Jan. 23 in Shifang of Sichuan Province, China. Chinese People are preparing for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Ox on the lunar calendar which falls on the 26th of January. Getty Images / China Photos



lnrnyear16.jpg
People pay their respects to relatives who died in the May 12 earthquake at an earthquake memorial site at Qushan Township on Jan. 25 in Beichuan County of Sichuan Province, China. Many families are mourning their relatives who were victims killed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake as they prepare to celebrate the traditional Spring Festival. Chinese People are preparing for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Ox on the lunar calendar which falls on Jan. 26. Getty Images / China Photos



lnrnyear17.jpg
A child plays at a temporary settlement for earthquake survivors at Qushan Township on Jan. 25 in Beichuan County of Sichuan Province, China. Many families are mourning their relatives who were victims killed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake as they prepare to celebrate the traditional Spring Festival. Chinese People are preparing for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Ox on the lunar calendar which falls on Jan. 26. Getty Images / China Photos



lnrnyear18.jpg
A performer dressed in Qing Dynasty costume stands part in the opening ceremony for the Ditan Temple Fair in Beijing on Jan. 25. The annual fair opened to celebrate the Year of the Ox one day ahead of the start of the new Lunar New Year. AFP / Getty Images / Liu Jin



lnrnyear19.jpg
Chinese visitors walk by Lunar New Year decorations at a park in Xian, northern China's Shaanxi province on Jan. 24. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has warned the nation's economy faces the toughest year since 2000, pledging a range of measures aimed at curbing the downturn. AFP / Getty Images



lnrnyear20.jpg
Visitors look at fireworks during the Chinese New Year light up ceremony at Kek Lok Si Buddhist temple with lighting decorations in Penang Island, Malaysia, Wednesday, Jan. 21. Some Millions of ethnic Chinese people across Asia will celebrate the new lunar year that begins Monday. AP / Gary Chuah



lnrnyear21.jpg
Artists dressed in Qing Dynasty costumes take part in a performance to worship heaven and pray for good harvests, at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing on Jan. 26, where the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dyansties would traditionally pray for bumper crops twice a year. China gave the Lunar New Year a raucous welcome with parties, feasts and thousands of of firecrackers, but the mood was far from bullish as the nation ushered in the Year of the Ox. AFP / Getty Images / Liu Jin



lnrnyear22.jpg
Two men fly a hot-air lantern to send New Year wishes up to the sky in front of the Hanoi Opera House during Lunar New Year celebrations in Hanoi, Vietnam, Sunday, Jan. 25. AP / Chitose Suzuki



lnrnyear23.jpg
An ethnic Chinese woman burns joss papers at a temple during the first day of the Chinese lunar New Year in Klang, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, Jan. 26. Malaysian ethnic Chinese swarmed the temple to pray for good fortune and watch traditional lion dance. AP / Lai Seng Sin



lnrnyear24.jpg
A worker, left, arranges flames of burning joss sticks as people pray at a temple to celebrate Chinese new year Monday, Jan. 26, in Shanghai, China. Millions of Chinese across the country celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Ox. AP / Eugene Hoshiko



lnrnyear25.jpg
Balinese hold incense sticks during a prayer to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year at a temple in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia Monday, Jan. 26. Ethnic Chinese communities in the world's most populous Muslim country celebrate the start of the Lunar Year of the Ox. AP / Firdia Lisnawati



hide comments