Millions around the globe usher in the Chinese New Year of the Rat – except in China

As the clock struck midnight, millions of Chinese people around the world ushered in the Lunar New Year, marking the start of the Year of the Rat.

Celebrations rang out from Los Angeles to Pyongyang, but in China itself streets remained on lockdown.

It comes after Beijing officials announced major events will be cancelled in a bid to control the spread of the killer coronavirus.

As the clock struck midnight, millions of Chinese people around the world ushered in the Lunar New Year, marking the start of the Year of the Rat. Pictured: Revellers in Thien Hau Temple in China Town, Los Angeles

Meanwhile, Beijing's streets were almost deserted as officials announced that major events would be cancelled in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus

Meanwhile, Beijing’s streets were almost deserted as officials announced that major events would be cancelled in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus

People pose for pictures in front of an entrance to the Badaling section of the Great Wall, which is closed to visitors

People pose for pictures in front of an entrance to the Badaling section of the Great Wall, which is closed to visitors

People walk outside an entrance to a section of the Great Wall of China which is closed to visitors in a bid to contain the disease

People walk outside an entrance to a section of the Great Wall of China which is closed to visitors in a bid to contain the disease

A woman wearing a face mask leaves a supermarket decorated with Chinese New Year lanterns in Beijing. Face masks are believed by some to limit the transmission of airborne viruses.

A woman wearing a face mask leaves a supermarket decorated with Chinese New Year lanterns in Beijing. Face masks are believed by some to limit the transmission of airborne viruses.

Celebrations rang out from Los Angeles to Pyongyang, but in China itself streets remained quiet. Pictured: Revellers in Thien Hau Temple in China Town, Los Angeles

Celebrations rang out from Los Angeles to Pyongyang, but in China itself streets remained quiet. Pictured: Revellers in Thien Hau Temple in China Town, Los Angeles

It comes after Beijing officials announced major events will be cancelled in a bid to control the spread of the killer coronavirus. Pictured: Revellers in Thien Hau Temple in China Town, Los Angeles

It comes after Beijing officials announced major events will be cancelled in a bid to control the spread of the killer coronavirus. Pictured: Revellers in Thien Hau Temple in China Town, Los Angeles

People wear masks as they walk past rat sculptures outside a shopping mall after Chinese New Year celebrations were cancelled in Beijing

People wear masks as they walk past rat sculptures outside a shopping mall after Chinese New Year celebrations were cancelled in Beijing

A nurse waits for transportation as she re-enters the city to return to Wuhan Yaxin General Hospital. Some 56 million people are now subject to restrictions on their movement as authorities expand travel bans in central Hubei province, now affecting 18 cities

A nurse waits for transportation as she re-enters the city to return to Wuhan Yaxin General Hospital. Some 56 million people are now subject to restrictions on their movement as authorities expand travel bans in central Hubei province, now affecting 18 cities

Thai-Chinese women take photos in Chinatown in Bangkok. Meanwhile, much of China remains on lockdown in a bid to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus

Thai-Chinese women take photos in Chinatown in Bangkok. Meanwhile, much of China remains on lockdown in a bid to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus

A section of the Great Wall known as the Badaling section – one of the most visited parts – has been closed to tourists, Al Jazeera reports. Pictured: A street performer spews fire in the Chinatown district of Manila, Philippines

A section of the Great Wall known as the Badaling section – one of the most visited parts – has been closed to tourists, Al Jazeera reports. Pictured: A street performer spews fire in the Chinatown district of Manila, Philippines

The death toll in China rose to 41 today from 26 a day earlier and more than 1,300 people have been infected globally with a virus traced to a seafood market in the central city of Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife. 

Wuhan, a city of 11 million, has been in virtual lockdown since Thursday, with nearly all flights at the airport cancelled and checkpoints blocking the main roads leading out of town.

Some 56 million people are now subject to restrictions on their movement as authorities expand travel bans in central Hubei province, now affecting 18 cities. 

The 2020 Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, will start from today and ring in the year of the rat, the first of the 12 zodiac signs in the Chinese calendar.

People wearing masks wait for the start of a lion dance performance in Yokohama's Chinatown, west of Tokyo

People wearing masks wait for the start of a lion dance performance in Yokohama’s Chinatown, west of Tokyo

People burn incense sticks to pray for good fortune at Songshan Ciyou Temple in Taipei, Taiwan today

People burn incense sticks to pray for good fortune at Songshan Ciyou Temple in Taipei, Taiwan today

A lion dance team performs outside a Chinese temple on the first day of the Lunar New Year of the Rat in Banda Aceh, Indonesia

A lion dance team performs outside a Chinese temple on the first day of the Lunar New Year of the Rat in Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Dancers perform the traditional Chinese lion dance during celebrations in the Chinatown district of Manila, Philippines

Dancers perform the traditional Chinese lion dance during celebrations in the Chinatown district of Manila, Philippines

People crowd under red lanterns during a cerebration to mark the Lunar New Year at Chinatown in Yangon, Myanmar

People crowd under red lanterns during a cerebration to mark the Lunar New Year at Chinatown in Yangon, Myanmar

Spectators, some wearing protective face masks, watch a lion dance performance in Yokohama's Chinatown, west of Tokyo

Spectators, some wearing protective face masks, watch a lion dance performance in Yokohama’s Chinatown, west of Tokyo

The coronavirus death toll in China rose to 41 today from 26 a day earlier and more than 1,300 people have been infected globally with a virus traced to a seafood market in the central city of Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife. Pictured: A woman puts a stick of incense in a shrine at the Thien Hau Temple in Chinatown, Los Angeles

The coronavirus death toll in China rose to 41 today from 26 a day earlier and more than 1,300 people have been infected globally with a virus traced to a seafood market in the central city of Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife. Pictured: A woman puts a stick of incense in a shrine at the Thien Hau Temple in Chinatown, Los Angeles

Wuhan, a city of 11 million, has been in virtual lockdown since Thursday, with nearly all flights at the airport cancelled and checkpoints blocking the main roads leading out of town. Pictured: People celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year at the Thien Hau Temple in Chinatown, Los Angeles

Wuhan, a city of 11 million, has been in virtual lockdown since Thursday, with nearly all flights at the airport cancelled and checkpoints blocking the main roads leading out of town. Pictured: People celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year at the Thien Hau Temple in Chinatown, Los Angeles

The 2020 Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, will start from today and ring in the year of the rat, the first of the 12 zodiac signs in the Chinese calendar. Pictured: Girls play a maypole game on Kim Il Sung Square as part of festivities in Pyongyang

The 2020 Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, will start from today and ring in the year of the rat, the first of the 12 zodiac signs in the Chinese calendar. Pictured: Girls play a maypole game on Kim Il Sung Square as part of festivities in Pyongyang

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THE CORONAVIRUS?

Once someone has caught the virus it may take between two and 14 days for them to show any symptoms.

If and when they do, typical signs include:

  • a runny nose
  • a cough
  • sore throat
  • fever (high temperature)

The vast majority of patients – at least 97 per cent, based on available data – will recover from these without any issues or medical help.

In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. 

Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people. 

But as the country’s citizens are poised to celebrate their most important holiday of the year, temples have locked their doors, major tourist destinations have announced emergency closures and restaurant reservations are being cancelled.

Shanghai Disney Resort posted on its website: ‘In response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and cast, Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown.

‘We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and… announce the reopening date upon confirmation.’ 

A section of the Great Wall known as the Badaling section – one of the most visited parts – has been closed to tourists, Al Jazeera reports.

Beijing’s Forbidden Palace, which hosts the Palace Museum, will be closed to visitors from Saturday.

China’s National Health Commission has announced it had formed six medical teams totalling 1,230 medical staff to help Wuhan. Three of the six teams, from Shanghai, Guangdong and military hospitals have arrived in Wuhan.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has declared a virus emergency in the Asian financial hub, announcing a package of measures to limit the city’s links with mainland China. 

As  China's citizens are poised to celebrate their most important holiday of the year, temples have locked their doors, major tourist destinations have announced emergency closures and restaurant reservations are being cancelled. Pictured: Celebrations in Pyongyang

As  China’s citizens are poised to celebrate their most important holiday of the year, temples have locked their doors, major tourist destinations have announced emergency closures and restaurant reservations are being cancelled. Pictured: Celebrations in Pyongyang

A four-day carnival planned in Hong Kong, from January 25 to 28, has been cancelled by the state tourism board amid the coronavirus outbreak. Pictured: Children play with kites during festivities in Pyongyang

A four-day carnival planned in Hong Kong, from January 25 to 28, has been cancelled by the state tourism board amid the coronavirus outbreak. Pictured: Children play with kites during festivities in Pyongyang

Dancers dressed in a costume perform a traditional Chinese dragon during celebrations at the Thien Hau Temple in Los Angeles

Dancers dressed in a costume perform a traditional Chinese dragon during celebrations at the Thien Hau Temple in Los Angeles

People interact with performers dressed in a costume during a traditional Chinese dragon dance in Los Angeles, California

People interact with performers dressed in a costume during a traditional Chinese dragon dance in Los Angeles, California

Lunar New Year celebration comes in various forms. Chinese people wear red jackets and jumpers to the streets, buy red lanterns and paper-cuttings to decorate their homes and even prepare red steamed buns to be eaten during family reunions. Pictured: A performer in Los Angeles

Lunar New Year celebration comes in various forms. Chinese people wear red jackets and jumpers to the streets, buy red lanterns and paper-cuttings to decorate their homes and even prepare red steamed buns to be eaten during family reunions. Pictured: A performer in Los Angeles

Schools, now on Lunar New Year holidays, would remain shut until February 17, while inbound and outbound flights and high speed rail trips between Hong Kong and Wuhan would be halted.

The territory was also treating 122 people suspected of having the disease. 

A four-day carnival planned in Hong Kong, from January 25 to 28, has been cancelled by the state tourism board.

Shanghai Disney Resort posted on its website: 'In response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and cast, Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown.' Pictured: Security personnel wearing face masks stand at the gates of the Resort today

Shanghai Disney Resort posted on its website: ‘In response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and cast, Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown.’ Pictured: Security personnel wearing face masks stand at the gates of the Resort today

Hong Kong's Lunar New Year World Cup football tournament has been called off in a bid to protect the spread of the virus. Pictured: People perform a lion dance in Indonesia

Hong Kong’s Lunar New Year World Cup football tournament has been called off in a bid to protect the spread of the virus. Pictured: People perform a lion dance in Indonesia

Yesterday, London's Chinese community wore surgical masks as they prepared for the celebrations amid fears that the coronavirus could spread to British shores

Yesterday, London’s Chinese community wore surgical masks as they prepared for the celebrations amid fears that the coronavirus could spread to British shores

Lucky lanterns were hung from windows as drivers dropped off deliveries to restaurants preparing for tomorrow's big day.

Lucky lanterns were hung from windows as drivers dropped off deliveries to restaurants preparing for tomorrow’s big day.

Hong Kong’s Lunar New Year World Cup football tournament has been called off.

Yesterday evening, London’s Chinese community wore surgical masks as they prepared for the celebrations amid fears that the coronavirus could spread to British shores.

Lucky lanterns were hung from windows as drivers dropped off deliveries to restaurants in preparation.

Face masks are believed by some to limit the transmission of airborne viruses.

Boris Johnson hosted colourful Chinese dragons in Downing Street earlier on Friday while ministers were nearby discussing the deadly in the Far East.

He hosted figures from the British-Chinese community in the heart of Westminster.

How is Chinese New Year celebrated? 

Lunar New Year celebration comes in various forms.

Chinese people wear red jackets and jumpers to the streets, buy red lanterns and paper-cuttings to decorate their homes and even prepare red steamed buns to be eaten during family reunions.

Around China, family get together to eat different types of dumplings, such as savoury ‘jiao zi’ and sweet ‘tang tuan’ as a way to pray for family unity and happiness.

Red envelopes containing cash are also given out to children by their families to wish them a happy New Year.

Women wearing traditional Chinese costumes prepare to take a photo at a park ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year in Beijing on Saturday

Women wearing traditional Chinese costumes prepare to take a photo at a park ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year in Beijing on Saturday

The Chinese New Year’s Gala, one of the most popular way of celebration, is the most-watched television programme in the world.

The four-hour-long marathon show gathers the most popular singers, dancers, comedians and magicians in the country from the previous year and has been the Spring Festival tradition in China since its first edition in 1983.

According to latest statistics, 690 million Chinese people around the world tuned in to watch the gala live in 2016. Over one billion people watched the show in total that year.

The festivities usually last for 16 days in China, from the Lunar New Year’s Eve to the Lantern Festival, or the 15th day of the New Year, when people go out to see colourful lanterns.  

The zodiac animal for 2019 is the pig.

In recent years those born in the year of the pig have been born in 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007 and now 2019.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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