AP Photos: Asia celebrates the start of the Lunar New Year

BEIJING (AP) — People across Asia celebrated the Year of the Tiger Tuesday by ringing in the Lunar New Year with colorful decorations, dances, tributes to ancestors and prayers for good fortune in the coming year.

This is the third Lunar New Year since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and, once again, the celebrations were more low-key than usual, with the population taking strict health and safety measures and some traditional festivities reduced or cancelled.

Each new lunar year is named after one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac in a repeating cycle. The Year of the Tiger follows the Year of the Ox.

For this reason, the images of tigers have a special role in New Year’s decorations, some traditional and others more modern, such as the robotic tigers in a shopping center in Beijing.

In the Japanese capital, the Tokyo Tower was lit up red to celebrate the diplomatic relationship between Japan and China, as well as the Beijing Winter Olympics.

In North Korea, residents visited the statues of late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on Pyongyang’s Mount Mansu, while in South Korea, North Korean refugees visited the Imjingak pavilion, near the border that divides the peninsula, to remember their ancestors.

In Cambodia, ethnic Chinese performed the traditional dragon dance in Phnom Penh, while others prayed for good fortune at the Tai Hong Kong temple in Bangkok, Thailand.


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