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Nigeria marks Chinese Lunar New Year in early celebrations

Lunar New Year items on sale   -  
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Sakchai Lalit/AP


Crowds gathered in the Nigerian city of Lagos on Sunday for an early celebration of the Lunar New Year.

The day, often referred to as the Chinese New Year, marks the first day of the lunar calendar and there are many cultural traditions associated with this celebration of spring.

It is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture and a period in which many people travel home to visit their families.

The event in Lagos was hosted by the Chinese Consulate General in Lagos.

China's Consulate General in Lagos, Yan Yuqing, said the believes the Spring Festival belongs to the whole world.

“Last year, the United Nations announced that it will be an international festival. So, I am so glad that people from all over the world, including Nigeria, can together celebrate new year with Chinese people," she said.

An architect attending the festival in Lagos, Mike Anjorin, said he believed that Nigerians could learn from the Chinese.

“They celebrate their culture, and because of that it keeps them together and it makes them develop. We have abandoned our culture. A man that loses his culture is dead."

In China, the festivities get underway next Saturday, ushering in the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac, and will culminate with the Lantern Festival on 24 February.

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