A toned-down celebration of the Chinese New Year is expected next month in Manila after the city government of Manila canceled all activities for the occasion to prevent further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)
Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Friday signed Executive Order No. 4 series of 2021 canceling all Chinese New Year activities from February 11 to 17, 2021, as a guideline for the celebration.
“No street party, stage show, parade, ‘palarong kalye’ (street games), or other similar activities shall be held during the Chinese or Lunar New Year Celebration in the City of Manila,” the order read.
Even dragon dances that are among the highlights of the festival since ancient times are banned this time to prevent huge crowds.
The dragon dance has become a symbol of Chinese culture as the dragon is a symbol of China that is said to symbolize wisdom, power, wealth and are believed to bring good luck.
The use of firecracker and other pyrotechnic devices are not allowed as well, according to the EO.
Ordinance No. 5555 which prohibits the serving or drinking of alcoholic beverages of any kind within the city shall also be strictly implemented.
“Selling of liquor and other alcoholic beverages within the Binondo Chinatown area shall likewise be prohibited from February 11 to 12, 2021,” the order said.
Domagoso said the order was issued so as not to put in vain all the initiatives already undertaken by the city government during the entire duration of the pandemic.
This is also to avoid the possible spread of the more transmissible UK variant of the Covid-19 that has already been detected in the country, he added.
Chinese New Year falls on February 12 and is a special non-working day under Proclamation 986.
According to the Chinese zodiac, the year 2021 is the Year of the Metal Ox.