Jan 25, 2020

In photos: Lunar New Year celebrated around the world

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)

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In photos: How countries struck by coronavirus celebrated Valentine's Day

A Hong Kong flower shop on Valentine's Day. There are 56 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Hong Kong as of Feb. 14. Photo: Miguel Candela/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Across China and other countries with some of the highest confirmed cases of the coronavirus, people celebrated Valentine's Day as they would any other year: buying flowers and other gifts, attending weddings and spending time with loved ones.

Where it stands: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,527 people and in mainland China infected nearly 66,497 people, a number the CDC believes is underreported. There are more than 500 cases in 27 other countries and territories.

Go deeperArrowFeb 15, 2020 - Health

In photos: Wuhan and Hong Kong mourn doctor who warned of coronavirus outbreak

A Feb. 7 vigil in Hong Kong for Li Wenliang. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Vigils were held Friday in Hong Kong and Wuhan to mourn Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital who sounded the alarm on the coronavirus, for which Chinese authorities attempted to silence him. Wenliang reportedly died this week after contracting the virus.

The big picture, per the New York Times' Li Yuan: "For many people in China, the doctor’s death shook loose pent-up anger and frustration at how the government mishandled the situation by not sharing information earlier and by silencing whistle-blowers."

Go deeperArrowFeb 7, 2020 - World

In photos: 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe walks through a gate with the inscription "Work sets you free" ("Arbeit macht frei") on Jan. 27. Photo: Wojtek Radwanski/AFP via Getty Images

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Soviet Army in 1945, and hundreds of survivors returned to the complex in commemoration, AP reports.

Why it matters: Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest camp built by Germany during World War II and where the Nazis killed 1.1 million men, women and children, most of them Jews.

Go deeperArrowJan 27, 2020