Asia Greets Year of the Pig, Farewells the Dog (Photos)

In this Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, photo, women take a selfie near a tree decorated with red lanterns ahead of the Lunar New Year at Ditan Park in Beijing. Photo: Andy Wong / Associated Press

The Lunar New Year is being celebrated around Asia with lanterns, performances, decorations and food. People are bidding farewell to the year of the dog in the 12-year Chinese astrological cycle and welcoming the year of the pig with hopes of happiness and fortune.

On the eve of the new year, people gathered for reunion dinners, gave red packets of pocket money to youngsters and lit firecrackers at midnight.

Early Tuesday, the first day of the year of the pig, hundreds lined up outside famous temples to burn the first joss sticks of the year, expecting it to bring them good luck.

Ornaments were readied, kiosks set up, and traditional dragon dancers leapt in the air. Everywhere, the color red dominated — on lanterns, clothes and signs. In homes and in shops, cute pig dolls were displayed for the festival, which is also celebrated in Vietnam and by ethnic Chinese communities across Asia.

In this Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, photo, Muslim women take a selfie at a shop selling Lunar New Year decorations in the Chinatown area of Jakarta, Indonesia. People of Chinese descent in the world’s most populous Muslim country are preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Pig on Feb. 5. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
In this Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, photo, Filipino-Chinese display piggy banks at the start of celebrations leading to next week’s Lunar New Year in Chinatown, Manila, Philippines. This year is the Year of the Earth Pig on the Lunar calendar and is supposed to represent abundance, diligence and generosity. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
In this Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, photo, ethnic Chinese-Thai offers flowers after prayers at the Leng Nuei Yee Chinese temple for the upcoming Lunar New Year in Bangkok, Thailand. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
In this Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, photo, two divers perform an underwater Chinese Lion Dance ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations at Aquaria KLCC underwater park in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. People around the world will be celebrating the start of the Year of Pig on Feb. 5th this year in the Chinese lunar calendar. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
In this Sunday, Feb.3, 2019, photo, a woman takes a souvenir photo of her family posing in front of red lanterns on display at the Longtan Park for a temple fair ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year in Beijing. Chinese around the world will celebrate Lunar New Year on Feb. 5 this year which marks the Year of the Pig on the Chinese zodiac. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
In this Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, photo, vendors carrying pig-shaped balloons for sale to mark the Lunar New Year in Hanoi, Vietnam. Vietnam is celebrating the Lunar New Year of the Pig, the biggest annual festival of the year. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)