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

Bashaw Rebels tackle a new challenge in handball

Unique, physical sport seems to be good spring fit for school

Bashaw’s 2019 budget will see further adjustments

Preliminary look at town revenue and expense projections will need tweaks before approval

Bashaw’s Razzle Dazzle Day plans under construction

Annual Chamber sponsored community celebration set for June 8

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

Almost a year ago Kenney dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight

OPINION: Jason Kenney won by portraying himself as the Guardian of Alberta

How did Kenney do it? He never considered himself an opposition leader and didn’t pretend to be one.

VIDEO: Police dog in Oregon struck by 200 porcupine quills during pursuit

The German shepherd had to be sedated and was in treatment for more than two hours

Robbery in Leduc County estimated at $40,000

Leduc RCMP investigate break and enter and theft of firearms

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Calgary’s public school board responds to Syrian child’s suicide after bullying

Amal Alshteiwi, a newcomer to Canada from Syria, took her own life several weeks ago

Child, 11, accidentally shot in the chest at Alberta religious colony

Child taken from Hutterite colony to nearby hospital

Woman in critical condition after motorcycle crash on Edmonton highway

Police say both women were thrown from the bike, and the van continued forward, hitting a Nissan Altima

Ceremonies, vigils planned in Toronto to honour victims of deadly van attack

Many of those who helped that day — first responders and Good Samaritans alike — still affected

New study suggests oilsands greenhouse gas emissions underestimated

New study is the first to use actual field measurements taken from aerial overflights, or top-down measurements

Most Read