Asia Celebrates New Year: Photo Contest Winners

The Japanese scatter dried beans to drive away evil. Thais splash water on one another. The Chinese celebrate with fireworks.  People in many parts of Asia, as well as elsewhere in the world, celebrate the new year in a variety of colorful, festive ways.

During our Asia Welcomes 2010 Flickr Photo Contest, Asia Society received more than 100 photos of Asian celebrations from around the world. The winner is Chris Tyler of San Fernando Valley, CA, who has been shooting stills for 34 years. "I can best describe my life in photography as the baseball player in the movie The Natural—I had a long intermission," says Tyler, whose daughter is featured in the winning photo.

"We celebrate the Chinese New Year by exchanging red envelopes with family and friends," he says. "My daughter was so excited to wear her new Chinese dress." According to Tyler, the use of Leica Noctilux f1.0 lens gave the photo its aesthetic appeal, by allowing only the red envelope to be in focus. "We went to a spot near a green hill with sunlight streaking through the trees. Then, I simply asked her to imagine what she can do with the money in the red envelopes."

Azmi Bogart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, whose photo captured fireworks over the Petronas Towers, won second prize, and Kaz Campbell, also of Kuala Lumpur, won third prize.

Honorable mentions went to Jeff Henig, Violet Chaw and Nhat Le.