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

Supporters gather during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop cafe in Mirror Alta, on Saturday May 8, 2021. The Whistle Stop was shut down by AHS for not complying with COVID-19 rules. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Police hand out tickets to dozens leaving anti-lockdown protest in Alberta

Hundreds gathered outside the Whistle Stop Café in the hamlet of Mirror, Alta.

Oval Race track at Central Alberta Raceway. (Photo Submitted)
Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey delays opening after health restrictions expand

Central Alberta Raceways had originally planned to open for the season at the end of May

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Alberta leads the Prairie provinces in being the first to take COVID-19 vaccine bookings for pre-teens. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta leads Prairie provinces in accepting COVID vaccine bookings for pre-teens

The province begins accepting appointments for kids as young as 12 starting today

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
File photo
Arrest made for armed robbery in Millet, Wetaskiwin RCMP continue to investigate

Wetaskiwin RCMP are investigating an armed robbery took place May 4, 2021 in Millet, Alta.

Dr. Karina Pillay, former mayor of Slave Lake, Alta., is shown at her medical clinic in Calgary on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
10 years later: Former Slave Lake mayor remembers wildfire that burned through town

Alberta announced in 2011 that an unknown arsonist had recklessly or deliberately ignited the forest fire

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman travelling from Alberta found dead in B.C. park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel’s approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

Wolf density in Jasper is low enough that the animals would not be expected to be a major threat

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

Most Read