Eat drink and dance your way through Chinese New Year
As Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year as many prefer to call it, becomes more popular more and more Lunar New Year events spring up around Brisbane and Sotuh East Queensland.
This year the events are heralding in the Year of The Goat (or the year of the Sheep) the eighth sign of the Zodiac, symbolising creativity, intelligence, dependability and calmness. Your Chinese Zodiac is the goat if you were born in 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 and 2015. I have always been a bit miffed that I was born in the year of the dog when I really would have liked the Dragon but whatever your Chinese Zodiac, Lunar New Year Celebrations are a lot of fun and really worth making the effort to attend.
Chinese New Year celebrations
1. As always there are the fantastic events at the Chinatown Mall in the Valley over three days from Friday 20th Feb to Sunday 22nd Feb. The celebrations kick off at 5pm on Friday with lion dances, fire crackers, traditional music, dance performances and roving performers. Highlights include the Fiesta Fire Show at 9pm and stilt walking China dolls roving the mall.
Chinatown Mall will be full of an eclectic mix of stalls. Last year we scored cheap Pokemon cards, a Chinese lion puppet, sparkly iPad touch pens as well as some beautiful pork buns and some great ice cream.
If you want to eat out surrounded by all this atmosphere then you would be wise to book ahead of time. Most restaurants on the mall put tables outside so if you're lucky you can get front row seats to all the performances.
On Saturday, there will be more markets and a parade from 5-6pm, followed by lion dances at 6pm and firecrackers at 6.20. On Sunday, the markets and performances continue with Korean and Taiwanese performers as well as an all ages Tai Chi Class.
Free Tai Chi class
2. At Sunnybank, the suburb with a fantastic assortment of Asian restaurants, there are Lunar New Year activities from Wed 18 Feb to Sun 22 Feb.
Lunar New Year celebrations, Sunnybank
This includes familiar events such as Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Lion Dancing, Feng Shui consultations. In addition, there are some more unusual events such as the Dragon Dance, Chinese Calligraphy demonstrations, ice, fruit and vegetable carving, Chinese chop carving, noodle making demonstrations and dough modelling.
There are also workshops for children where they will get to make a mini goat mask. Why not try a Food Discovery Tour and learn about Asian food, culture, choosing the best produce and tips for cooking the best Asian food. All of this for $68 including a $25 goodie bag.
3. In Chermside there will be the Kung Fusion Night Market 4-9pm, Friday 20 Feb, in the Nando's Carpark Chermside.
Kung Fusion Markets
This is the inaugural Kung Fusion market and sounds like a great way to see in the Lunar New Year. There will be delicious Asian food available from an array of market stalls, pole walking lion dancers, live music, fun and fireworks. Bring the whole family, even the dogs but check that they're not scared of loud noises like fireworks first.
4. At Priestdale in Logan at the Chung Tian Temple there will be a food and fun festival on Wednesday Feb 18 and Saturday 22 Feb. There will also be an art exhibition, lion dances, kids' activities, movies, calligraphy and vegetarian cooking classes. For more information see the website here
5. The inaugural Chinese New Year celebrations at the GoldCoast will take place on Sat 21 Feb at the newly developed Chinatown precinct in Southport. There will be an Asian infused market, performances, kids' activities and live music. For details see Your text goes here