- Title: CHINA/JAPAN: China, Japan celebrate Lunar New Year
- Date: 23rd January 2012
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (JANUARY 23, 2012) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FIREWORKS EXPLODING OVER BEIJING SKYLINE PEOPLE WATCHING FIREWORKS FIREWORKS EXPLODING IN SKY MEN LIGHTING FIREWORKS, STEPPING BACK MAN WATCHING FIREWORKS MEN CARRYING AND PILING UP BOXES OF FIREWORKS VARIOUS OF WOMEN WATCHING FIREWORKS (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) BEIJING RESIDENT ANNA DU SAYING: "I'm so happy to see in the New Year this way. It's so much fun to set off fireworks with friends and family. I feel so happy to see the explosions, and I don't have a care in the world." MEN OPENING BOX OF FIREWORKS MAN UNROLLING FIRECRACKER VARIOUS OF MAN UNPACKING FIRECRACKER FIRECRACKER EXPLODING SPARKLER EXPLODING (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) BEIJING RESIDENT CHEN LONG SAYING: "Each year we buy around 70,000 to 80,000 yuan's worth of fireworks. Every year, New Year's Eve cancels out all the bad luck and negative things from last year, and it lifts all of our spirits. It's really fun." FIREWORKS EXPLODING IN SKY CHILD WATCHING FIREWORKS EXPLODING BEHIND TREE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CLEARING UP BOXES VARIOUS OF FIREWORKS EXPLODING OVER FROZEN LAKE YOKOHAMA, JAPAN (JANUARY 22, 2012) (REUTERS) PEOPLE COUNTING DOWN IN JAPANESE AND THEN SHOUTING 'HAPPY NEW YEAR!' IN CHINESE DRAGON DECORATION ON GATE OF KANTEI-BYO TEMPLE ENTRANCE GATE OF KANTEI-BYO TEMPLE SIGN IN CHINESE READING 'KANTEI-BYO' (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TAKATSUGU SANNOMIYA, 28-YEAR-OLD, JAPANESE TOURIST TO CHINATOWN SAYING: "Last year I didn't know about this, but this year I heard about the Chinese lunar new year celebration, and I heard how much fun the firecrackers were, so I thought I'd come as a kind of tourist for the event." PEOPLE PLACING INCENSE IN URNS AT TEMPLE AND BOWING THREE TIMES INCENSE BEING LIT IN FLAME WOMAN THROWING COINS INTO TEMPLE COLLECTION BOX AND PRAYING VARIOUS OF SPIRITUAL ELDERS PRAYING BEFORE TEMPLE GODS FOOD OFFERINGS FOR TEMPLE GODS ON TABLE SPIRITUAL LEADER AND OTHERS BOWING BEFORE TEMPLE GODS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE ENTERING TEMPLE (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) KUNEHITO NAKAHARA, 29-YEARS-OLD, JAPANESE BUSINESS CONSULTANT SAYING: "Once every few years I have been here before but this year I am starting a new business with a friend, and since it is a god of commerce I came to pray for my good fortune." PEOPLE ENTERING TEMPLE FROM MAIN GATE
- Embargoed: 7th February 2012 12:00
- Location: Japan, China
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA82ZK8ZFGDSWUN02OAEWGEOHEQ
- Story Text: Celebrations rang out in Beijing and Yokohama on Sunday night (January 22), to mark the start of the lunar new year.
In Beijing, fireworks exploded into the sky, to celebrate the year of the dragon, which begins on Monday (January 23).
The dragon is believed to be a powerful, mythical creature that symbolises good luck in many Asian countries.
"I'm so happy to see in the New Year this way. It's so much fun to set off fireworks with friends and family. I feel so happy to see the explosions, and I don't have a care in the world," said local resident, Anna Du.
Traditionally, fireworks are believed to have been first set off to scare off a man-eating monster, and they have now become an indispensable feature of the nationwide celebrations.
The Lunar New Year is an important event for many in China, as it is the only holiday in the year that they get to spend with their families and relatives.
In China, the Lunar New Year is known as the "Spring Festival", since the spring season in the Chinese calendar starts on the first day of the new year.
Meanwhile in Japan, well-wishers rang in the Chinese new year at midnight on Sunday (January 22) with firecrackers and prayers in Yokohama, Japan's Kantei-Byo Temple.
Several hundred people, mainly the Chinese community of Yokohama and tourists came out to enjoy the festivities in the surprisingly temperate weather at the local Chinese temple in the heart of Japan's largest Chinatown. Japanese do not celebrate the Lunar New Year and Monday (January 23) is a regular working day in Japan, and not a major holiday as it is in the rest of Asia.
After well-wishers had counted down to the new year, a loud cacophony of firecrackers exploded into the air.
"Last year I didn't know about this, but this year I heard about the Chinese lunar new year celebration, and I heard how much fun the firecrackers were, so I thought I'd come as a kind of tourist for the event," said local resident, Takatsugu Sannomiya.
Hosting the annual event, the Kantei-Byo Temple, also known as Guan Gong Temple, is an important cultural and spiritual centre for the Chinese community living in Japan.
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