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PHOTO ESSAY/Lunar New Year approaches

02/08/2024 08:25 PM
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Dancers perform holding banners with well wishes and blessings around a dragon display in the departure hall of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport's Terminal 2 on Wednesday. CNA photo Feb. 7, 2024
Dancers perform holding banners with well wishes and blessings around a dragon display in the departure hall of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport's Terminal 2 on Wednesday. CNA photo Feb. 7, 2024

Taipei, Feb. 8 (CNA) A seven-day holiday began in Taiwan on Thursday to celebrate the Lunar New Year and to usher in the Year of the Dragon, with celebrations taking place across Taiwan and several other Asian countries.

Taiwan

People in Taiwan usually travel back to their hometowns for dinner on Lunar New Year's Eve, packing freeways, trains, and domestic flights.

Alternatively, some choose to travel abroad during the long holiday, since it falls during the school winter vacation. The island's main international air hub -- Taoyuan International Airport -- expects passenger numbers to rise to a daily average of 128,000 from Feb. 7-15.

The estimated daily average is roughly 90 percent of the figure recorded during the Lunar New Year holidays in 2019 before global travel was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the airport operator said Thursday.

A Taiwan Railway train is packed with passengers at Banqiao Station in New Taipei on Wednesday as people begin their journeys home. CNA photo Feb. 7, 2024
A Taiwan Railway train is packed with passengers at Banqiao Station in New Taipei on Wednesday as people begin their journeys home. CNA photo Feb. 7, 2024
A check-in counter is decorated with dragons and lanterns for the Lunar New Year holiday at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Thursday. CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024
A check-in counter is decorated with dragons and lanterns for the Lunar New Year holiday at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Thursday. CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024
A man takes a group photo of visitors at the Sanxia Qingshui Zushi Temple in New Taipei Thursday. CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024
A man takes a group photo of visitors at the Sanxia Qingshui Zushi Temple in New Taipei Thursday. CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024

Another popular Lunar New Year activity in Taiwan is visiting temples to pray for good fortune in the new year.

Four of the five terrestrial TV stations will put on four/five-hour pre-recorded variety shows packed with singing, dancing, and special guest performances.

One of the stations, the Chinese Television System will broadcast the General Association of Chinese Culture's "We Are" program, which seeks to review 2023 through performances and appearances of professional baseball players and cheerleaders, as well as Asian Games athletes, the association said in recent press statements.

Actor and singer Lotus Wang (王彩樺) performs during one of the 10 segments in the General Association of Chinese Culture's Lunar New Year's Eve TV show in this press photo. Photo courtesy of General Association of Chinese Culture Feb. 8, 2024
Actor and singer Lotus Wang (王彩樺) performs during one of the 10 segments in the General Association of Chinese Culture's Lunar New Year's Eve TV show in this press photo. Photo courtesy of General Association of Chinese Culture Feb. 8, 2024
A resident in Beitou District, Taipei removes old spring couplets on Thursday, before the Year of the Dragon arrives. CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024
A resident in Beitou District, Taipei removes old spring couplets on Thursday, before the Year of the Dragon arrives. CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024

Hong Kong

A vendor in Central, Hong Kong hangs up Lunar New Year decorations. CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024
A vendor in Central, Hong Kong hangs up Lunar New Year decorations. CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024

Shanghai

Shoppers browse through Lunar New Year decorations and spring couplets at the Fuyuomen wholesale market in Shanghai on Thursday. CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024
Shoppers browse through Lunar New Year decorations and spring couplets at the Fuyuomen wholesale market in Shanghai on Thursday. CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024

Kuala Lumpur

Don Zen Temple officials and guests sit in front of a lit-up dragon display at the temple built by the Taiwanese Buddhist group Fo Guang Shan in the Malaysian state of Selangor Wednesday evening. CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024
Don Zen Temple officials and guests sit in front of a lit-up dragon display at the temple built by the Taiwanese Buddhist group Fo Guang Shan in the Malaysian state of Selangor Wednesday evening. CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024
A dragon display is lit up against the backdrop of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024
A dragon display is lit up against the backdrop of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024

(By Kay Liu)

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