Asia

Chinese Lunar New Year feast begins with drums and dumplings

  • Children play as villagers gather to make dumplings ahead of the Chinese lunar new year at a village on the outskirts of Beijing, China, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Chinese in mainland China hand make and eat dumplings to mark the start of the Year of the Rooster on Jan 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    Children play as villagers gather to make dumplings ahead of the Chinese lunar new year at a village on the outskirts of Beijing, China, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Chinese in mainland China hand make and eat dumplings to mark the start of the Year of the Rooster on Jan 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man collects dumplings to store ahead of the Chinese lunar new year at a village on the outskirts of Beijing, China, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Chinese in mainland China hand make and eat dumplings to mark the start of the Year of the Rooster on Jan 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    A man collects dumplings to store ahead of the Chinese lunar new year at a village on the outskirts of Beijing, China, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Chinese in mainland China hand make and eat dumplings to mark the start of the Year of the Rooster on Jan 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man pinches a dumpling into shape during a community gathering ahead of the lunar Chinese new year at a village on the outskirts of Beijing, China, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Chinese in mainland China hand make and eat dumplings to mark the start of the Year of the Rooster on Jan 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    A man pinches a dumpling into shape during a community gathering ahead of the lunar Chinese new year at a village on the outskirts of Beijing, China, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Chinese in mainland China hand make and eat dumplings to mark the start of the Year of the Rooster on Jan 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  (The Associated Press)

Four men in traditional yellow costumes bang large drums to announce the start of the New Year's banquet in Liuminying village. Inside the village's meeting hall, 100 tables are set with a dozen plates, bearing sausages, nuts and fruit.

Sitting in a storage shed outside are thousands of half-moon shaped dumplings, made by hand the day before, ready to be boiled and served.

Villages and cities across China are preparing this weekend to celebrate Lunar New Year, though few feasts are as elaborate as the one in Liuminying, a hamlet in Beijing's suburbs.

What began as a small lunch sponsored by the local Communist Party branch has grown into a feast that served 1,000 people this year during a three-hour spectacle with singing and dancing.