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

Students and staff at Gateway Christian School wore pink Wednesday in support of Pink Shirt Day, a worldwide anti-bullying initiative that was started in 2007. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Public Schools)
Students, central Alberta community celebrate Pink Shirt Day

Mayor of Sylvan Lake Sean McIntyre supports anti-bullying cause

City of Red Deer has nearly doubled its active COVID-19 case count since Feb. 10 and has 75.6 per cent of the Central zone’s active cases. (File photo)
Another new high: Red Deer hits 574 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports 13 new COVID-19 deaths, 430 new cases

Contributed photo
Residents urged to participate in survey about Sylvan Lake Animal Control Bylaw

“Having as many people involved as possible, gives us the best shot at the most effective revision.”

Town of Sylvan Lake. File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council approve 2021 budget with no tax increase

Council approved the budget at its regular meeting on Feb. 22

Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Anne Kirker is expected to sentence Satnam Singh Sandhu on Friday. Red Deer Advocate file photo
Updated: Sylvan Lake man pleads guilty to manslaughter for strangling wife in 2019

Kulvinder Sandhu was strangled and died in hospital several days later

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

Minister Rick Wilson poses with Katie at the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin, both wearing her Pink Shirt Day design. Facebook/ Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin Boys and Girls club Pink Shirt day design focuses on kindness

Katie with the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin created this year’s Pink Shirt Day design.

Black Press File Photo
Valentine’s Day shooting in Maskwacis leaves one male in hospital, one male in custody

19-year-old Francis Edward Nepoose from Maskwacis has been charged with attempted murder.

Sentencing delayed in the stabbing death of Samantha Sharpe, of Sunchild First Nation. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Central Alberta man not criminally responsible for killing his father in 2020: judge

Psychiatrist testified Nicholas Johnson was psychotic when he killed his father

The cover of “Hometown Asylum: A History and Memoir of Institutional Care.” (Submitted)
Ponoka-born author writes history of old mental hospital

“Hometown Asylum: A History and Memoir of Institutional Care” covers 1911 to 1971

Jacqueline Buffalo. (Photo submitted)
TikTok connects Indigenous women during pandemic

Maskwacis influencers share their stories

Todd Hirsch. (Image: screenshot)
ATB vice president gives financial forecast to Ponoka chamber

Predictions for reopening of the economy and recovery outlined

The 24/7 Integrated Response Hub is currently located in the Wetaskiwin Civic Building. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Wetaskiwin business owners concerned over 24/7 Integrated Hub’s impact downtown

Downtown businesses have had loss of customers, threats, increased property damage and break-ins.

Most Read