Crowds of children also packed a Pyongyang plaza and played traditional Korean games and watched singing and dancing performances, with the capital's streets covered in snow that had fallen Saturday.
Along North Korea's border with China last week, impoverished residents could be seen returning home by bicycle ferry and oxcart. North Korea's economy is on the brink of collapse, and the country remains dependent on China for food and fuel supplies.
At Jakarta's 350-year-old Buddhist temple, Vihara Dharma Bhakti, thousands of celebrants from the Indonesian capital and surrounding regions prayed before burning incense sticks and performed other rituals.
"Our hope for this new year is for our health, well-being and success to be even better than last year," worshipper Nio Ju-ie said.
The Lunar New Year could be celebrated only in private under Gen. Suharto's brutal 32-year dictatorship, but the occasion is now a national holiday in Indonesia, honoring the country's small but highly influential Chinese community.
Associated Press writer Hyung-jin Kim contributed to this report from Seoul, South Korea.
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