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Photo of the Day: Lai hands out lucky money in Tainan on first day of Lunar New Year

President-elect Lai Ching-te visits temples in Tainan and greets enthusiastic well-wishers

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President-elect Lai Ching-te wishes for health and prosperity in the Year of the Dragon at Guanyin Temple in Tainan. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly&...

President-elect Lai Ching-te wishes for health and prosperity in the Year of the Dragon at Guanyin Temple in Tainan. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly&...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) handed out “lucky money” to members of the public at temples in Tainan on Saturday (Feb. 10), the first day of the Lunar New Year.

Lai prayed, gave speeches, and gave out "Dragon Xi Li Lai" (龍喜利來) red envelopes, on which was taped a NT$1 coin, which represents the idiom “new beginnings.” Hundreds of admirers lined the streets outside the temples to meet Taiwan’s next president, on a balmy winter’s day.

The former mayor of Tainan who is currently the nation’s vice president was accompanied by legislators, local politicians, and city officials. He visited three major temples in the popular tourism district of Anping: Kaitai Tianhou Temple, Guanyin Temple, and Lingji Temple.

Lai arrived at Guanyin Temple around 3:35 p.m. and was mobbed by well-wishers who hoped to receive his blessing. After paying his respects to the temple gods he delivered a boilerplate speech to the waiting crowd.

He thanked Taiwan’s people for electing him president and promised to work hard along with his Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴). He also said he would make sure both Tainan and Taiwan would develop positively under his presidency.

He concluded by wishing the waiting crowd good health and prosperity in the Year of the Dragon. Before departing the temple he handed out Dragon Xi Li Lai red envelopes for about 20 minutes.

Photo of the Day: Lai hands out lucky money in Tainan on first day of Lunar New Year
President-elect Lai Ching-te greets wellwishers at Guanyin Temple. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)

Photo of the Day: Lai hands out lucky money in Tainan on first day of Lunar New Year
Crowds greet arriving president-elect in Tainan. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)

Photo of the Day: Lai hands out lucky money in Tainan on first day of Lunar New Year
Praying for good luck in the Year of the Dragon ahead of visit from President-elect Lai Ching-te. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)

Photo of the Day: Lai hands out lucky money in Tainan on first day of Lunar New Year
Guanyin Temple in Tainan. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)

Photo of the Day: Lai hands out lucky money in Tainan on first day of Lunar New Year
Buddha in Guanyin Temple. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)

Photo of the Day: Lai hands out lucky money in Tainan on first day of Lunar New Year
Devoted follower of religion in Tainan. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)

Photo of the Day: Lai hands out lucky money in Tainan on first day of Lunar New Year
Team Taiwan. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)

Photo of the Day: Lai hands out lucky money in Tainan on first day of Lunar New Year
Lai Ching-te is greeted at Guanyin Temple by large crowds. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)

Photo of the Day: Lai hands out lucky money in Tainan on first day of Lunar New Year
Lighting incense. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)

Photo of the Day: Lai hands out lucky money in Tainan on first day of Lunar New Year
The happy recipient of a "Dragon Xi Li Lai" red envelope. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)