PHOTOS: Despite COVID-19, Lunar New Year quietly celebrated around the world

Wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Anna Lee, 9, stands next to lion dancers during a Lunar New Year celebration at Dao Quang Temple on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Garland, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)Wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Anna Lee, 9, stands next to lion dancers during a Lunar New Year celebration at Dao Quang Temple on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Garland, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
South Korean family members bow to respect for their ancestor in North Korea, on the Lunar New Year at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)South Korean family members bow to respect for their ancestor in North Korea, on the Lunar New Year at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
An Indian Chinese lights joss sticks to place in a cauldron on the first day of Chinese Lunar New Year at a temple in Kolkata, India, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)An Indian Chinese lights joss sticks to place in a cauldron on the first day of Chinese Lunar New Year at a temple in Kolkata, India, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)
Lion dancers prepare their costumes during a celebration of the Lunar New Year at a temple in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. The celebration marks the Year of the Ox in the Chinese calendar. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)Lion dancers prepare their costumes during a celebration of the Lunar New Year at a temple in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. The celebration marks the Year of the Ox in the Chinese calendar. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus offer prayers outside the closed Yonghegong Lama Temple, usually crowded with worshippers, during the first day of the Lunar New Year in Beijing, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus offer prayers outside the closed Yonghegong Lama Temple, usually crowded with worshippers, during the first day of the Lunar New Year in Beijing, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Divers perform an underwater lion dance at the KLCC Aquaria during Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)Divers perform an underwater lion dance at the KLCC Aquaria during Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
A woman wearing a protective mask prays at the Thean Hou Temple during first day of Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. The movement control order (MCO) currently enforced across the country to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, has been extended to Feb. 18, effectively covering the Chinese New Year festival that falls on Feb. 12 this year. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)A woman wearing a protective mask prays at the Thean Hou Temple during first day of Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. The movement control order (MCO) currently enforced across the country to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, has been extended to Feb. 18, effectively covering the Chinese New Year festival that falls on Feb. 12 this year. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
People wear face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus as they pray at a temple for the Chinese Lunar New Year, Year of the Ox, in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)People wear face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus as they pray at a temple for the Chinese Lunar New Year, Year of the Ox, in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Yoon Kim, center, along with other volunteers from the Korean-American Association of New Jersey, pack bags to give away. Besides masks and hand sanitizer, the bags contain the ingredients for Dduk Guk, a rice cake soup that is traditionally eaten by Koreans to celebrate the new year. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)Yoon Kim, center, along with other volunteers from the Korean-American Association of New Jersey, pack bags to give away. Besides masks and hand sanitizer, the bags contain the ingredients for Dduk Guk, a rice cake soup that is traditionally eaten by Koreans to celebrate the new year. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Millions of people around the world are ringing in the Year of the Ox a bit differently this Lunar New Year.

With the backdrop of a global pandemic, festivities for the holiday are muted after China, Vietnam, Taiwan and other governments tightened travel curbs and urged the public to avoid big gatherings following renewed virus outbreaks.

Still, in other countries and cities – pending local restrictions – many could be found gathering on Feb. 12, dawning lucky red masks and burning incense and praying.

In a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged that the typical celebrations and gatherings among friends and families, which usually last two weeks, will look much different this year. However, “the lessons we draw from the ox – an animal symbolizing hard work, perseverance, and honesty – will help us move forward during these difficult times,” he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put anti-Asian racism in the spotlight with police in some Canadian cities, such as Vancouer, reporting an uptick in reported hate crimes and confrontations.

“Together, let’s reaffirm our commitment to build a more inclusive Canada, celebrate the diversity that makes us strong, and continue to fight discrimination and hatred in all its forms,” Trudeau said.

In B.C., where Premier John Horgan has pledged to create anti-racism legislation, said that while he’ll miss the “vibrancy and excitement” that typically comes with the holiday, many will be taking part in online events, video chats with their families and decorating their homes.

“Kung Hei Fat Choi! Gong Xi Fa Cai! Saehae bok mani badeuseyo! Chúc mừng năm mới!”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

School District 8 is considering moving some programs out of Central School to make more room. Photo: Tyler Harper
SD8 considers moving Wildflower classes, REACH program out of Central School

The district says the building is set to operate over capacity in the fall

A emergency response team assisted the RCMP in apprehending a woman in Kaslo who was barricaded in her house on March 1. File photo
RCMP apprehend woman barricaded in Kaslo house

The woman had been writing threatening messages about taking hostages, police say

A byelection will be held on March 27 to fill the council seat vacated by Brittny Anderson, who is now the MLA for Nelson-Creston. File photo
Meet the Nelson byelection candidates at online forum

Event sponsored by Nelson at its Best will take place online March 11

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Most Read