Gong xi fa cai, or Happy Chinese New Year!
2012 is the Year of the Water Dragon and it’s predicted that, much like the dragon’s personality, this year is the time to be bold, ambitious and enterprising.
The Chinese New Year festival runs from 23 January to 6 February. Traditionally, families and friends gather to celebrate and give gifts symbolising prosperity and good luck, and of course there’s a whole lot of feasting!
This weekend the city has plenty of options for you to celebrate Chinese New Year with all the fun, excitement and flavours of this colourful lunar festival.
Melbourne Chinese New Year celebrations
Head to Chinatown this Sunday to see the New Year celebrations in full display. See the dragon parade at 12.30pm as it makes its way down Little Bourke Street to the beat of Chinese drummers and firecrackers. Browse through bustling market stalls, sample tasty street food and immerse yourself in Chinese culture for one day. Don’t forget to spot your Chinese zodiac sign in the laneways of Crossley Street, Market Lane and Liverpool Street.
Celebrate the Year of the Water Dragon at the Chinese Museum
Discover where the 63 metre-long Millennium Dragon – the largest in the world – lives, as he awakes from hibernation in the Chinese Museum to participate in the annual New Year celebrations. Visitors will be able to enjoy free entry to the museum, where they can learn about the history of Australians of Chinese descent, from the Gold Rush to today.
Dishing up tradition
Chinese New Year would not be complete without food. Traditionally, families and friends gather for large and elaborate feasts made up of many dishes that represent good luck, wealth and wellbeing. Here is a list of some of the dishes that you can eat during the New Year and what they represent.
Dumplings – silver ingots
Spring rolls – gold bouillon
Noodles – uncut, these represent long life
Oranges – good luck
Fish – abundance
Whole chicken (including its head and feet!) – family togetherness
By Lucy Perera