Cities worldwide join in to mark CNY

Children in traditional outfits among the crowd celebrating Chinese New Year at a firecracker ceremony in New York's Chinatown last Saturday. Mr Trudeau (centre) at a Chinese New Year parade in Vancouver with (from far left) Minister of Justice Jody
Spectators at London's Trafalgar Square watching a Flying Lion dance on Sunday. Chinese New Year celebrations in London are among the biggest outside Asia, with a parade starting in central London's Chinatown and ending in Trafalgar Square with a festival of music and dance.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Children in traditional outfits among the crowd celebrating Chinese New Year at a firecracker ceremony in New York's Chinatown last Saturday. Mr Trudeau (centre) at a Chinese New Year parade in Vancouver with (from far left) Minister of Justice Jody
Mr Trudeau (centre) at a Chinese New Year parade in Vancouver with (from far left) Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould and National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. PHOTO: REUTERS
Children in traditional outfits among the crowd celebrating Chinese New Year at a firecracker ceremony in New York's Chinatown last Saturday. Mr Trudeau (centre) at a Chinese New Year parade in Vancouver with (from far left) Minister of Justice Jody
Children in traditional outfits among the crowd celebrating Chinese New Year at a firecracker ceremony in New York's Chinatown last Saturday. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Many pull out all the stops to usher in festive season, with parades, fireworks and shows

BEIJING • From London to New York, people across the globe have joined the Chinese in celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Rooster with colourful parades, fireworks and red lanterns.

On Sunday morning, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau led a procession of political leaders, community groups and dancers through Vancouver's historic Chinatown for the city's annual Chinese New Year parade.

Spectators were standing shoulder to shoulder along the pavement as firecrackers snapped over a din of drums. Lion dancers in silver, purple and red lurched and bobbed to drum beats outside the Chinese Cultural Centre.

The event marked the largest assembly of lion dancers in Canada and attracted nearly 100,000 spectators.

Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, is China's most important festival. The week-long holiday is about family reunions and togetherness. It is celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunar calendar.

Celebrations traditionally run from the evening preceding the first day, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first calendar month.

In Japan, the Chinese Spring Festival is celebrated across the country. With red lanterns and flags on Chinese-style buildings, Yokohama's Chinatown was adorned in red and gold banners denoting happiness, wealth and good luck. Special events have been planned until March.

This year, the first day of the Chinese New Year fell on Saturday.

In Britain, it was welcomed with its biggest-ever programme of events and celebrations.

From London's Trafalgar Square to major cities across the country, tens of thousands of Britons joined Chinese communities in celebrating the joyful event.

Celebrations in London have been among the biggest outside Asia, with a parade starting in central London's Chinatown and ending at a main stage in Trafalgar Square with a festival of music and dance.

In Manchester, a dragon parade led by a spectacular 54m-long dragon ended in Chinatown, where there was traditional Chinese entertainment, more than 6,000 lanterns, street food villages and a fireworks finale.

Europe's oldest Chinatown in Liverpool hosted its biggest new year celebrations, spanning three days for the first time.

Celebrations are also taking place in Birmingham, Durham, Edinburgh, Leeds and Newcastle.

In Japan, the Chinese Spring Festival is celebrated across the country.

With red lanterns and flags on Chinese-style buildings, Yokohama's Chinatown was adorned in red and gold banners denoting happiness, wealth and good luck.

Special events have been planned until March.

In midtown Manhattan in New York City, the top of the Empire State Building shone in red and gold at sunset last Thursday and Friday to usher in Chinese New Year.

Thousands in Washington attended a celebration at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which featured dragon dances and other Chinese folk art forms.

With musical performances, dances, paper cutting, calligraphy, painting, dough sculpting and bristle dolls, the event showcased traditional and modern aspects of Chinese culture.

In Poland, celebrations were held last Saturday in many cities, including the capital Warsaw and Wroclaw in the south-west region.

The SWPS University in Warsaw had a Chinese New Year programme for the weekend, including a lecture on Chinese New Year pictures by Professor Krzysztof Gawlikowski, a leading expert on China.

A large crowd in Estonia were also entertained on Sunday with cultural performances including dragon and lion dances, martial arts, acrobatics and a traditional Chinese music concert.

Similar events were also held in many other countries, including Thailand, Cambodia, Nigeria, Mexico and Brazil.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2017, with the headline 'Cities worldwide join in to mark CNY'. Print Edition | Subscribe