After the government dropped its tight “zero-COVID” policy, people celebrated the Lunar New Year on Sunday across China with sizable family reunions and crowds visiting temples.
This was the country’s most significant holiday since the pandemic started three years ago.
In China, the Lunar New Year is the most significant yearly holiday. The Chinese zodiac names each year after one of the 12 signs, with the current year being the Year of the Rabbit.
In light of the pandemic, celebrations have been subdued over the previous three years.
Most COVID-19 restrictions have been loosened, allowing many people to return to their hometowns and rejoin their families for the first time without fearing quarantine or prospective lockdowns.
Wu Zunyou, the director of the Center for Disease Control in China, warned that the overall mobility of people could contribute to the development of the virus in some locales.
However, a significant COVID-19 outbreak will be improbable in the following two to three months because the last wave of infection affected 80% of the nation’s 1.4 billion population.
Numerous worshipers offered morning prayers at the Lama Temple in Beijing, but the crowds there appeared to be lower than before the pandemic.
Due to safety concerns, the Tibetan Buddhist site only permits 60,000 visitors each day and needs reservations.
People celebrated by lighting the first incense sticks of the year at Wong Tai Sin Temple, the largest Taoist temple in Hong Kong.
Due to the pandemic, the site’s well-known tradition was put on hold for the past two years.
Large crowds typically congregate before 11 p.m. Everyone tries to put their incense sticks onto the stands in front of the temple’s main hall as early as possible on Lunar New Year’s Eve.
According to worshippers, the first people to set their incense sticks will have the best chance of having their prayers granted.