Londoners celebrate the Lunar New Year

Chinese New Year celebrations in London (PA)

Chinese New Year celebrations in London (PA)

Tens of thousands of people flocked to the West End to celebrate the start of the Lunar New Year.

Visitors flocked to Trafalgar Square on Sunday afternoon for live music, food stalls and a lively parade.

The capital’s main parade began on Charing Cross Road before proceeding down Shaftesbury Avenue and ending with the lion’s eye ceremony in Trafalgar Square.

Chinese New Year celebrations in London

PA-70676795.jpg: (PA)

PA-70676795.jpg: (PA)

Chinese New Year 2.jpg: Spectators watch the parade in London (PA)

Chinese New Year 2.jpg: Spectators watch the parade in London (PA)

PA-70676803.jpg: Artists taking part in a parade with costumes, lion dances and floats during the Chinese New Year celebrations in Londo (PA)

PA-70676803.jpg: Artists taking part in a parade with costumes, lion dances and floats during the Chinese New Year celebrations in Londo (PA)

Chinese New Year 1.jpg: Spectators watch the parade during Chinese New Year celebrations in London (PA)

Chinese New Year 1.jpg: Spectators watch the parade during Chinese New Year celebrations in London (PA)

2.70676804.jpg: Chinese New Year celebrations in London (PA)

2.70676804.jpg: Chinese New Year celebrations in London (PA)

Revelers watched with delight as actors dressed in colorful costumes and floats took part in the parade.

The Lunar New Year is a special time for families around the world and is the most important holiday in China.

This year, the holiday falls on January 22 and marks the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit.

People across China celebrated Lunar New Year Sunday with family gatherings and crowds visiting temples after the government lifted its strict no-COVID-19 policy.

This event was the biggest celebration since the beginning of the pandemic.

With most Covid-19 restrictions easing, many people have finally been able to make their first trip back to their hometowns to reunite with their families without worrying about quarantine restrictions, potential lockdowns and travel suspensions.

Larger public celebrations also returned for the so-called Spring Festival in China, where the capital hosts thousands of cultural events – on a larger scale than a year ago.

The mass movement of people could cause the virus to spread in some areas, said Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the China Center for Disease Control.

Workers install new red lanterns in Chinatown ahead of Chinese New Year (SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett)

Workers install new red lanterns in Chinatown ahead of Chinese New Year (SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett)

But a large-scale rise in Covid-19 will be unlikely in the next two or three months, as about 80% of the country’s 1.4 billion people were infected during the last wave, social media platform Weibo wrote on Saturday.

In Beijing, many worshipers offered morning prayers at the Lama Temple, but the crowds seemed smaller compared to the days before the pandemic. The Tibetan Buddhist site allows up to 60,000 visitors per day, citing security concerns, and requires advance booking.

There was no sign of bustling New Year’s food stalls in Taoranting Park, even though the sidewalks were decorated with traditional Chinese lanterns. The popular temple fair at Badachu Park will return this week, but similar events at Ditan Park and Longtan Lake Park have yet to take place.

In Hong Kong, revelers gathered at the city’s largest Taoist temple, Wong Tai Sin Temple, to burn the first incense sticks of the year. The popular ritual of the service has been suspended for the last two years due to the pandemic.

Traditionally, before 11 p.m. on Lunar New Year’s Eve, crowds gather and everyone tries to be the first or one of the first to put their incense sticks on the racks outside the main hall of the temple.

The faithful believe that those who deposit their incense first will have the best chance of having their prayers heard.

Local resident Freddie Ho, who visited the temple on Saturday night, was happy to attend the event in person.

“I hope to put the first incense stick and pray that the New Year will bring peace to the world, that Hong Kong’s economy will prosper and the pandemic will leave us and we can all live as normal,” Ho said. “I believe that’s what everyone wants.”

Meanwhile, crowds praying for prosperity at the historic Longshan Temple in Taiwan’s capital Taipei were smaller than a year ago, even as the pandemic eased. This is partly because many people there have taken long-awaited trips to other parts of Taiwan or abroad.

It comes as 10 people were killed and 10 injured in a mass shooting in Monterey Park, California.

The shooting happened after the Lunar New Year festival, during which police said the suspect was still at large.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *