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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 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
6 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

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

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

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