Asia rings in Year of the Horse with fireworks, festivities
BEIJING (AFP) - Fireworks illuminated the skies across Asia and millions of families gathered together on Friday to usher in the Year of the Horse, kicking off a week of celebrations that included a performance by Braveheart actress Sophie Marceau on China's annual televised gala.
Residents from China's small towns and villages to its sprawling megacities rang in the Lunar New Year, the country's most important holiday, by indulging in feasts of dumplings and rice cakes and exchanging hongbao, red envelopes stuffed with "lucky money".
Many of them were among the hundreds of millions of people, including 245 million migrant workers, who had crammed planes, trains and buses to return to their hometowns in what is the world's largest annual human migration.
Chinese communities across Asia also came together to celebrate, marking the holiday with flowers and offerings. Hong Kong was due to hold a massive fireworks display over Victoria Harbour on Saturday, the second day of the new year.