But her popularity has risen unabated, and just months after state media slammed her as an emblem of counterculture, she is playing a starring role as the country ushers in the Year of the Pig tomorrow.
Chiu, who was wearing a polka dot dress, also used sparklers to welcome the Chinese New Year.More news: India vs New Zealand 1st T20I at Wellington
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The holiday also attracts extraordinary numbers of Chinese tourists from overseas.
A woman lights incense while praying in a Chinese temple during the celebration of the Lunar New Year in Chinatown in Bangkok, Thailand. Authorities were expecting an average of 1.77 million worldwide trips per day this week - an 8.9-per-cent increase over past year. The Chinese New Year concludes with a Lantern Festival, which begins on February 16 and concludes when the New Year ends on the 19th.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor led the festival celebrations and wished all concerned a happy, healthy and rewarding Year of the Pig. "In that spirit, I wish you and your families health, success and happiness in this new year".
According to Chinese tradition, the pig is the last animal in the 12-year zodiac cycle and its year is considered to be a time for reflecting on the past in order to get ready for a new cycle. China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified, despite the two sides being ruled separately since the end of a civil war in 1949.