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Lunar New Year more than a celebration in China
   2017-01-28 20:57:01    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guan Chao

The Sydney Opera House is lit up red in Australia, on the Lunar New Year eve, on January 27, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]

The start of the Lunar New Year has seen celebrations take place around the world, with events as colorful as they are diverse.

CRI's Fei Fei has the details.

 

Sydney, one of the first cities to usher in the Lunar New Year, has seen its famed Opera House lit up red on the eve of the holiday.

Combined with the annual fireworks display, the Circular Quay has drawn thousands.

Sydney's Mayor Clover Moore.

"Sydney's very proud of the fact that we have the biggest celebration of the Lunar New Year, the Chinese New Year, outside Asia. And it's something that has grown from a very small community event - 21 years ago - to be this very large event. And people come from all around the world, especially from Asia, to celebrate with us."

Celebrations in Sydney are due to last until early February, with millions expected to attend the festivities.

Night food markets and dragon boat racing will continue for the coming week in Australia's largest city.

In Japan's historic Chinatown in district in the city of Yokohama, holiday festivities have included prayers, firecrackers and lion dances.

25-year-old Chinese student Sun Yuanyuan says the events in Yokohama are almost like being at home.

"I felt like I was in China. I'm so happy and excited to celebrate the new year all together in this temple. It reminds me of home."

At the stroke of midnight, Malaysia put on huge celebrations on the outskirts of the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Large bird-shaped lanterns surround the Dong Zen Temple, marking the start of the "Year of the Rooster."

Matt MacDonald is from New Zealand.

"Well the design, my first impression was it's an interesting contrast between portraying the peace and tranquility with intense light and decorations but overall it gives a very nice effect - something that I'm not very used to but very impressive."

In South America, Brazil has marked the start of the Chinese New Year by lighting up the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in red.

Many locals are joining cultural activities organized by the Chinese community there.

"I wish I knew how to write my last name in Chinese. Chinese characters are so beautiful. I'm really into Chinese calligraphy, and I'd love to learn it someday. I always find Asian cultures intriguing. That's why I'm here. I'm glad we have the opportunity to experience Chinese culture in person."

In Peru, thousands of people have lined the streets of Lima's Chinatown to celebrate the arrival of the Lunar New Year.

Peru is home to roughly 10-percent of people of Chinese origin.

While typically a time for family, the Lunar New Year has also become an opportunity for people to travel.

China's tourism authorities estimate around 6-million people have opted to travel abroad this year, an increase of over 13-and-a-half percent compared with last year.

For CRI, this is Fei Fei.

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