Chinese all around the world, from Beijing to New York, are donning red jackets, hanging red lanterns, and filling red envelopes with money in celebration of the Chinese New Year, one of the world's biggest festivals.
The Chinese New Year will begin on Tuesday, marking the start of the Year of the Pig.
The brave men and women crewing the Chinese naval escort fleet curtailing piracy and escorting civilian ships in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia, embrace festivities for the New Year in their own way£far away from home.
The People's Liberation Army Navy celebrated the 10th anniversary of escort missions in the region in December. Over the last decade, China has dispatched 31 escort task forces, which included more than 100 ships and 26,000 personn[MG_SEO]el, and has helped escort around 6,600 vessels£half of which were foreign owned.
The PLA Navy has also carried out other missions, including the evacuation of Chinese nationals from Libyan war zones in 2011 and Yemen in 2015, the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and sending potable water to the Maldives during a water crisis in late 2014.
These heavy mission loads mean Chinese naval personnel often spend Spring Festival on deck at sea. Unlike the cheerful palette of red shades saturating the land for Chinese New Year, blue is the most dominant color during their festival£from the sky, sea, and on their camouflaged uniforms.
A blue Spring Festival can bring out the blues. "Far at sea, stars above our heads, no busy streets, no noisy crowd, no company from family or spouse," said Li Jingbo, an ammunition officer onboard the guided missile destroyer CNS Haikou, one of three naval vessels in the 27th escort task force.