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

Victoria cannabis dispensaries are busy in their first days of legal operation

The Cloud Nine Collective and The Original FARM opened their doors on April 15

Island cycling series boosts youth race schedule

New series creates opportunity for more youth competition

Colwood wins award for Sustainable Infrastructure Replacement Plan

Plan wins Award of Excellence in Government Finance

Autism support dog helps Langford boy hold his head high

Family shares story for Autism Awareness Month

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

$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

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.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

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

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Most Read