Chinese Lunar New Year celebrated worldwide

Updated 2017-01-31 14:13:13 Xinhua
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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (C) participates in the Chinese Lunar New Year parade in Vancouver, Canada, Jan. 29, 2017. More than 70 parade troops with 3,000 participants paraded along the streets of Chinatown to celebrate the Year of the Rooster. (Xinhua/Liang Sen)

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (C) participates in the Chinese Lunar New Year parade in Vancouver, Canada, Jan. 29, 2017. More than 70 parade troops with 3,000 participants paraded along the streets of Chinatown to celebrate the Year of the Rooster. (Xinhua/Liang Sen)

Think twice if you believe Chinese New Year is only celebrated in China or Chinatowns worldwide.

From London to New York, with colorful parades, fireworks and red lanterns, people across the globe are now joining the Chinese in celebrating the arrival of the Year of Rooster.

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 sidewalks as fire crackers snapped over a din of drums.

Lion dancers dressed in silver, purple and red lurched and bobbed to the backing of drum beats outside the Chinese Cultural Center. The event marked the largest assembly of lion dancers in all of Canada and attracted nearly 100,000 spectators.

"I love the Chinese New Year Parade because it brings all cultures together to celebrate the Asian culture and that's what we do in Vancouver," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

The Chinese Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival, is China's most important and ceremonious traditional festival. The week-long holiday is about family reunion and togetherness, just like Christmas in the West.

The festival is celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. Celebrations traditionally run from the evening preceding the first day, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first calendar month.

This year, the first day of the Chinese lunar new year falls on Saturday, initiating the year of the Rooster, based on the Chinese zodiac. The far-flung celebration offers people beyond the country an opportunity to feel the charm of China's traditions and culture.

In Britain, the 2017 Chinese New Year has been welcomed with its biggest ever program of events and celebrations.

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

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

In Manchester there was a Dragon Parade, led by a spectacular 54-meter-long dragon, and ending in Chinatown, where there were traditional Chinese entertainment, more than 6,000 lanterns, street food villages and a fireworks finale.

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

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

In Japan, the Chinese Spring Festival has been celebrated all over the country, attracting admiration for the Chinese culture among both local people and visitors from all over the world.

On Saturday, the Chinatown in Yokohama, the capital city of eastern Japan's Kanagawa prefecture, was filled with a festive atmosphere. Tens of thousands of visitors came to Yokohama's Chinatown, the largest Chinese community in Japan, to feel the festive atmosphere.

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