PHOTOS: Asia welcomes Year of the Pig with banquets, temple visits

Asia welcomed the lunar Year of the Pig on Tuesday with visits to temples, family banquets and the world’s biggest travel spree.

Celebrations took place throughout the region, from Beijing and Seoul to Hanoi and Singapore.

The streets of Beijing and other major Chinese cities were quiet and empty 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. Companies, shops and government offices closed for official holidays that ranged from two days in South Korea to a week in China.

Worshippers stood in line for hours at Hong Kong’s Wong Tai Sin Temple to welcome the new year by lighting incense.

Lana Wong, a prominent Hong Kong actress, wore a pig costume for the event.

“My first wish is for world peace,” said Wong, 88. “Everyone has food to eat, employment and houses to live in. The elderly also hope the government will take better care of them.”

In Beijing, performers in traditional Qing dynasty robes strummed zithers for a re-enactment at sunrise of a sacrificial ceremony at the Chinese capital’s Temple of Earth park.

An actor portraying an emperor bowed before an altar as dozens of people in ceremonial dress behind him.

Acrobats and drummers also performed. Vendors sold toys branded with the British cartoon character Peppa Pig, which is enjoying a surge of popularity for the Year of the Pig.

RELATED: Langley offers three Lunar New Year events

RELATED: Where to celebrate the lunar new year in Cloverdale next weekend

“My wishes for new year are a promotion, a raise and finding a boyfriend,” said a spectator, Cui Di, a 28-year-old employee of a foreign company.

The holiday in mainland China is marked by the biggest annual travel boom as hundreds of millions of people visit their home towns or travel abroad.

The railway ministry forecast mainland travellers would make 413 million trips during the three-week period around the holiday.

Chinese set off billions of fireworks to celebrate the new year. An explosion at an illegal fireworks shop in southern China killed five people early Tuesday. Investigators said it was triggered by fireworks set off by the shopkeeper outside the shop.

In Bangkok, people lit incense sticks and burned paper money and other symbolic offerings for deceased relatives despite government appeals to avoid contributing to smog.

Some shopkeepers sold symbolic ballots to burn as offerings following official promises of an election this year, the first after four years of military rule.

In the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, visitors left bouquets of flowers at statues of former leaders Kim Il Sung and his son, Kim Jong Il.

The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

In the Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, photo, Malaysian ethnic Chinese burns joss sticks as he prays at a temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Chinese around the world will be celebrating the start of the Year of the Pig on Feb. 5 this year in the Chinese lunar calendar. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)
Performers take part in a night parade to celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. The Lunar New Year this year marks the Year of the Pig in the Chinese calendar. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A performer takes part in a night parade to celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. The Lunar New Year this year marks the Year of the Pig in the Chinese calendar. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu) A performer takes part in a night parade to celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. The Lunar New Year this year marks the Year of the Pig in the Chinese calendar. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Performers take part in a night parade to celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. The Lunar New Year this year marks the Year of the Pig in the Chinese calendar. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Performers take part in a night parade to celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. The Lunar New Year this year marks the Year of the Pig in the Chinese calendar. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Just Posted

Clippers optimistic as they put finishing touches on cup-hosting bid

Nanaimo’s junior A hockey club hopes to host RBC Cup nationals in 2020-21

VIU visual art show spans a Spectrum of art forms

Spectrum: Visual Art Major Grad Show continues until May 9 at the View Gallery

City of Nanaimo ‘100 per cent’ on board with privacy commissioner recommendations

Council satisfied with how private and confidential information will be handled moving forward

Senior sentenced in Nanaimo for sexually abusing special-needs granddaughter

73-year-old Cortes Island man will go to jail for three years

Nanaimo RCMP probe eight fires at Brechin Elementary School

Police say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

Diary of Anne Frank turned into emotional stage production

Nanaimo Theatre Group director, actors say message relevant today

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read