Chinese Lunar New Year feast begins with drums and dumplings

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.