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Gatherings across the world kicked off Lunar New Year celebrations this weekend

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

While the U.S. is still processing the shooting at the Chinese dance studio outside of Los Angeles, all over the world, people gathered to kick off Lunar New Year celebrations.

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUMS BEATING)

SHAPIRO: From London to Shanghai, more than a billion people all around the world celebrated the holiday on Sunday.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Family gatherings, food, parades and performances ushered in the beginning of a new year, according to the lunar calendar.

LIWEI JIAO: It's a very important holiday because it's a time to reflect what you did in the last year, and it's a time to express your hope for the next year.

KELLY: That is Liwei Jiao, a senior lecturer of East Asian studies at Brown University. He says it is a special day for families to get together, and that celebration is the biggest in China.

SHAPIRO: The Chinese Ministry of Transport estimates that over the next few weeks there will be more than 2 billion passenger trips. This epic homecoming marks the biggest annual human migration on Earth. And this year, people will reunite with family for the first time without widespread pandemic restrictions in China.

KELLY: Most countries in Asia follow the Chinese zodiac, which means 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit.

JIAO: Rabbit is a very lovely animal for Chinese people. Rabbits are tender.

KELLY: In Chinese astrology, people born in the Year of the Rabbit are believed to be kind, quick and gentle, but alert. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Kai McNamee
Justine Kenin
Justine Kenin is an editor on All Things Considered. She joined NPR in 1999 as an intern. Nothing makes her happier than getting a book in the right reader's hands – most especially her own.