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

Experimental improv music event to be held in Summerland

Session will examine process of creating sound in a group

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sunny Wednesday ahead

Environment Canada is forecasting some great spring weather

Photos: Saddle broncs and bullriders raise the dust in Similkameen

The 54th annual Chopaka Easter Jackpot Rodeo took place near Keremeos Sunday

Rising country stars to perform at Penticton Peach Festival

Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion opens for Emerson Drive on PeachFest country night

Sunshine Foundation DreamLift trip won’t take off from Kelowna, fundraiser cancelled

Papa John’s ‘Dreams for Kids Day’ fundraiser to be rebranded

VIDEO: Okanagan fire victim Amy Hansen speaks out on the loss of her four pets

A gofundme page has been started for Hansen, with $1,140 raised of a $5000 goal to help her rebuild

Many teens don’t know they’revaping nicotine, Health Canada finds

Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey finds youth unaware of nicotine product risk

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man charged with daughters’ murders

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

Tofino beckons Trudeau for quiet Easter vacation

Environmental group hopes latest Pacific Rim vacation inspires change in prime minister

Kelowna man faces 4 year sentence after creating pimp operation on dating site

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

SPCA investigating hen cull at Shuswap egg farm

Egg farm regulator says they are confident cull at was done properly

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

Most Read