ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Revelers in Japan's Yokohama Chinatown celebrated the Lunar New Year on Saturday (February 9), with a countdown, firecrackers and lion dances to ring in the Year of the Snake. At the stroke of midnight, they also welcomed the first day of spring according to the Chinese lunar calendar. However, visitor numbers this year have fallen significantly due to worsening relations between Asia's two biggest economies. The Lunar New Year is also known as the "Spring Festival", since the spring season in the Chinese calendar starts on the first day of the new year. Ear-splitting fireworks are set off to scare away a man-eating monster. Traditional celebrations also drew crowds as many gathered to pray at the local temple, "Kanteibyo", for luck in the new year. The festivities also provide a way to show visitors how the Lunar New Year is celebrated, as most Japanese celebrate the New Year as January 1st. Japan's Chinatown was founded 150 years ago, just after Japan opened its doors to trade.
Feb. 9 - Revelers in Japan celebrated Lunar New Year with a countdown, firecrackers and lion dances to ring in the Year of the Snake. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) ( Transcript )
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