The chinese populations around the world welcomed on Tuesday the year of the pig, celebrating the lunar New year with prayers, feasts and family trips in the stores.
In mainland China, hundreds of millions of people have taken by assault these days the trains, buses, airplanes, or have borrowed their personal car to reach families and friends, which represents the largest migration of human in the world.
The year of the “earth pig”, which is the successor to the “dog of the land”, is celebrated around the world, chinese communities in trees of the South-East Asia to the chinatowns in most recent London, Sydney, Vancouver, Los Angeles or Paris.
The chinese New Year, the date is the most important of the chinese calendar, is celebrated for fifteen days with a great deal of festivities and meetings between relatives. People are making a family the traditional chinese dumplings, exchange gifts and offer around them red envelopes filled with money.
The pig is the symbol of good fortune and wealth in chinese culture. This year, the companies did not skimp on the production of goods and decorations pig.
According to the official chinese media, a massive number of Chinese are expected to move throughout the season of the spring Festival, a 40-day period that encompasses the New Year, and that is known under the name of “chunyun”. Nearly three billion trips are expected.
The streets of Beijing were surprisingly empty on Monday, many restaurants and shops having closed their doors.
– Lion dances –
A growing number of Chinese travelling abroad for the New Year, in Thailand, Japan, and elsewhere. According to the official agency New China, seven million tourists from china will cross the border during “chunyun” this year.
In Hong Kong, the flower markets were crowded, the inhabitants of the former british colony rushing out to buy orchids, branches of peach blossoms or mandarin oranges to decorate their home. The stalls were also selling an impressive number of pillows, toys, or bags decorated with pigs.
Thousands of devotees holding joss-sticks, some dressed in costumes pigs, rushed during the night in the temple Wong Tai Sin to welcome the year of the pig.
In Malaysia, where 60% of the population is muslim, 25% ethnic chinese, some businesses had chosen to be discrete with their effigies of pigs.
But traders and customers alike have said that it was normal to exercise restraint in a country where the majority of people view the pig as an animal unclean, adding that the subject was no controversy.
Neighboring Indonesia, the largest muslim country in the world, also has a chinese minority and the chinese New Year is a day of celebration.
Lion dances are traditional held in public places, and the supermarkets are full of mandarins and “moon cakes” are traditional.
– “Cultural Traditions” –
In Japan, the famous Tokyo Tower in the capital city should become red to celebrate the event, a first.
It is also the day of the holiday the most important in Vietnam, where it is known as Tet festival.
In the West, Lion dances will be held in cities such as New York and London and should also attract the crowds.
Personalities pro-Beijing as the president of pakistan Arif Alvi and cambodian Prime minister Hun Sen presented their greetings to China.
The president of taiwan Tsai Ing-wen took the opportunity to tackle politically Beijing by posting on social networks a message emphasizing the democratic character, and the linguistic pluralism of the island.
“In Taiwan, we are able to maintain our cultural traditions,” she says in a video, by presenting the vows in traditional five chinese languages, mandarin, taiwanese, hakka, teochew and cantonese.
The authorities of China continental are being accused by opponents and minorities to develop the practice of mandarin at the expense of other idioms.
Mainland China and Taiwan are ruled by rival regimes since 1949, after a civil war between communists established in Beijing and the nationalists of the Kuomintang refugees in Taipei. Beijing still considers Taiwan as an integral part of its territory could be retaken by force.