The Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year, starts on Friday 16 February 2018. Unlike our Western calendar in which New Year's Day is always on 1 January, the first day of the Lunar New Year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February because of its cyclical nature based on the waxing and waning of the moon. To help you plan your celebrations, I have selected the best FREE events in Brisbane.
Chinatown Mall Entrance (image by May Cross)
1. Chinatown Mall Festivities Celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year at popular Chinatown Mall in Duncan Street at Fortitude Valley on Saturday 17 February from 4:00pm . Get involved in the FREE festivities with colourful lion dances, breathtaking fire shows, traditional Chinese music, cultural performances including singing and dancing, interactive and creative workshops, and talented roving street performers to entertain the whole family. This event is one of the most auspicious days in the Asian calendar and is attended by hundreds of families each year. It offers the chance to explore more about the many different Asian cultures in Brisbane and enjoy the cultural diversity of The Valley.
For further information on Chinatown's celebrations, click here.
Fish Sculpture in Chinatown (image by May Cross)
2. Queen Street Mall Festivities
Lunar New Year is also being celebrated in the Queen Street Mall, in the city from Friday 16 February to Sunday 18 February. Welcome in the Year of the Dog with spectacular lion and dragon dances. Both lion and dragon dances have been performed in China for over a thousand years, even though neither dragons nor lions existed in ancient China. They have become important symbols of good luck and prosperity and are performed at New Year and other cultural events. What's the difference between the lion dance and the dragon dance? Although they are sometimes confused, it's easy to tell the difference. The fierce dragon dance with its long serpentine tail is performed by many dancers; whereas the playful lion dance is only two acrobatic dancers.
Chinese Lion (image by May Cross)
Other highlights of the FREE Queen Street festivities include kung fu demonstrations, a stunning ice sculpture, traditional music and much, much, more. You will be able to pick up a delish lunch at the many Asian pop-up food stalls.
3. Dumpling Day at South Brisbane Dumpling Day is being held at Fish Lane, South Brisbane, on Saturday 17 February from 10:00am to 4:00pm. The day draws on the start of the Lunar New Year where dumplings are traditionally shared between family and friends as a symbol of wealth.
Dumpling Day is a celebration of the many diverse cultures across Asia who have their own version of this tasty little treat. The FREE family festivities will start with a Tibetan singing bowl meditation and culminate with a Dabke dance workshop from Palestine. You can explore dumpling making workshops from Tibet (momos) and Palestine, as well as the traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese varieties. There will be lots of different delicious dumplings for sale for you to try. Dumpling Day is a must for all you dumpling lovers.
For further information on Dumpling Day, click here.
Yummy Plump Dumplings (image from organiser's website)
Happy New Year Happy New Year is Sun Nin Far Lot. Traditionally Chinese folk say two phases together, " Sun Nin Far Lot, Kung Hei Fat Choi". Kung Hei means congratulations. Sun Nin Far Lot to you and your family.
Did You Know? If you were born in 1932, 1946,1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, or 2006 (add or subtract 12 years for the zodiac cycle) you were born under the sign of the dog. So like man's best friend, you are likely to have canine traits such as being friendly and loyal to your friends and family. The Lunar New Year dates from about 2600 BC, when the Chinese zodiac was introduced.