Chinese communities around the world held a wide variety of events in celebration of the Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year’s Day, which fell on Friday.
Overseas Chinese in Vietnam usually visit a flower show held in Ho Chi Minh City during the festival.
The annual flower show, sponsored by overseas Chinese, has been held in Cholon, known as Saigon’s Chinatown, for more than ten years and attracted a large number of overseas Chinese and Vietnamese natives to have fun.
Dragon dance, lion dance and a dessert called Niangao (New Year’s cake) are necessary for the festival celebration. In Chinese, niangao is a homonym of the phrase “higher every year,” signifying the wish for steady progress in all aspects.
Cholon is one of the biggest Chinese communities in the world, accommodating most of the overseas Chinese in the city.
The street of Chinatown Singapore is also crowded with visitors because thousands of lanterns are lightening up the street during the Chinese New Year.
Meanwhile, Chinese communities in the South American nation of Peru began festivities for the Lunar New Year on Monday with traditional dance and precession performances in capital Lima.
PHOTO GALLERY: CHINESE NEW YEAR
The celebrations, which were held both indoors and outdoors, were attended by Chinese overseas residents, Peruvian nationals of Chinese descent and also the local community. The event was more special for the children in attendance as they received red envelopes, or red packets, a monetary gift which is given during holidays and special occasions.
The envelope coupled with its red color symbolizes good luck and fortune and is supposed to ward off evil spirits. Red packets are customarily given out to children or generally younger people during occasions by elders or married couples.
The event was organized by Peruvian Association for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China, to promote mutual interest and respect for the different countries’ distinctive cultures.
Elsewhere, celebrations outdoors saw dragon and lion dance festivities taking over proceedings, being one of the most recognized celebrations during Chinese traditional holidays or occasions.
At the same time, Chinese New Year festivities have been taking off in several parts of London, and now the city’s Chinatown is preparing to launch some of Europe’s largest-scale celebrations for the holiday.
As early as weeks before the Lunar New Year, themed decor celebrating the Year of the Horse covered the streets of London Chinatown.
A wide range of special events are being planned to mark the Year of the Horse, which is expected to bring hundreds of thousands people to Chinatown.
“In Chinatown, everybody is buzzing for Chinese New Year. They’re all really exciting, and I’m particularly excited, because I am a horse. So this is my year coming up,” said local singer Mary Jess.
Recently, various of parties delighted the Chinese oversea residents and Chinese Zimbabweans few days ahead of the festival in the capital city of Harare.
In addition, artists from China’s southern coastal city of Shenzhen and northern city Tianjin brought eye-catching performances to the African country, attracting a lot of overseas Chinese as well as natives.
Overseas Chinese living in Colombia also held various festivities.