Dragon dancers celebrate in Manila, Philippines, on Jan. 25. Photo: Jes Aznar/Getty Images

Over 1.5 billion people globally are celebrating the Lunar New Year on Saturday and into the weekend, USA Today reports, as participants honor ancestors, exchange gifts of good fortune, and toast to abundance.

The backdrop: Amid the celebrations, major Chinese cities Beijing and quarantined Wuhan are banned from large gatherings and travel that are ubiquitous with the holiday, due to the growing coronavirus crisis.

  • China is locking down at least three cities with a combined population of over 18 million, Hong Kong has closed all of its schools for two weeks, and Wuhan has reportedly banned the use of cars in downtown areas.
Fireworks during the River Hongbao festival in Singapore on Jan. 25. Photo: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images
Prayer at the Vihara Satya Dharma Temple on Jan. 25 in Bali, Indonesia. Photo: Mahendra Moonstar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A lion dance on Jan. 25 in Yokohama, Japan. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
Dragon dancers celebrate in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Anusak Laowilas/NurPhoto via Getty Images
A Chinese dragon in Moscow's Sokolniki Park. Photo: Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images
Prayer at Amurva Bhumi Temple on Jan. 25 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Anton Raharjo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Myanmar people attend a Lunar New Year celebration on Jan. 25 in Yangon, Burma. Photo: Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images
Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosts celebrations outside 10 Downing Street on Jan. 24. Photo: Lauren Hurley/Getty Images
Fireworks over the midtown Manhattan skyline celebrating the Lunar New Year on Jan. 23. Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images
A man wears a protective face mask outside Beijing's Forbidden City on Jan. 25. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images

Go deeper: Fear of Virus Ruins the ‘Happiest Day’ for Millions of Chinese (NYT)

Go deeper

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,642,602 — Total deaths: 1,007,769 — Total recoveries: 23,387,825Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,191,061 — Total deaths: 205,998 — Total recoveries: 2,813,305 — Total tests: 103,155,189Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. Politics: 7 former FDA commissioners say Trump is undermining agency's credibility
  5. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  6. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  7. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.
  8. Work: United States of burnout — Asian American unemployment spikes amid pandemic

In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed 46,600 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

Some 18,700 firefighters are battling 27 major blazes across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: 8,155 wildfires have burned across a record 3.86 million acres, killing 26 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The first Trump v. Biden presidential debate was a hot mess

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

This debate was like the country: Everybody’s talking. Nobody’s listening. Nothing is learned. It’s a mess.

  • We were told President Trump would be savage. Turned out, that was a gross understatement. Even the moderator, Fox News' Chris Wallace, got bulldozed.

Why it matters: Honestly, who the hell knows?

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