恭喜发财 (gōng xǐ fā cái)

lanterns (chan see shu yuen temple, kuala lumpur, malaysia) 2010 © nicole davis

i love chinese new year! partly because it often falls in the weeks around my birthday so i get fireworks to celebrate! i love the colour & the ceremony & the joy put into this celebration. and it goes on for two weeks, unlike the western new year! this year we went to chinese new year celebrations in bourke street, melbourne. the parade kicked off fabulously with lion and dragon dances by the chinese youth society of melbourne. but, being melbourne, it then suddenly bucketed down with rain on everyone. we went for cover in the nearest chinese restaurant. later, with very full stomachs, we got front row seats for some more great lion dance blessings. this weekend we’re heading to sydney & will be checking out the remainder of new year celebrations there too!

chinese (lunar) new year is very big in australia with our big communities of chinese, vietnamese and others who celebrate the occasion. australian cities do it in grand style, with perhaps the biggest event being the new year parades with the fabulous lion dances a big hit. lion dance is a special form of kung fu and many schools have a lion dance team. a lot of schools also have their students performing their kung fu skills for the audience as they follow their lion in the parade. i got to go in the sydney parade one year with my school & it was such a buzz to march in front of those enormous crowds.

last year we spent the chinese new year period in kuala lumpur & cambodia. it was really exciting to be in asia for it & new year fell on my actual birthday while we were in siem reap. they don’t do it quite so big there but there was still a morning lion dance performance for the restaurant beside our hotel & people burning money for good luck & lots of firecrackers. i got so excited, i went a little crazy with photos.

ps do you know that gōng xǐ fā cái (mandarin) & gung hay fat choy (cantonese) don’t actually literally mean happy new year? they mean ‘congratulations and prosperity’. i never knew that till today!

gift shop (jalan petaling, kuala lumpur, malaysia) 2010 © nicole davis

lion & tiger (lion dance performer & sungei wan plaza, kuala lumpur, malaysia) 2010 © nicole davis

food stalls (jalan hang lekir, kuala lumpur, malaysia) 2010 © nicole davis

lion & tiger (gift shop, jalan petaling & sin tze ya temple, jalan tun hs lee , kuala lumpur, malaysia) 2010 © nicole davis

mall (bukit bintang centre, kuala lumpur, malaysia) 2010 © nicole davis

cathedrals of commerce (suria shopping centre & sungei wan plaza, kuala lumpur, malaysia) 2010 © nicole davis

lucky! (miss wong cocktail bar, the lane, siem reap, cambodia) 2010 © nicole davis

burning offerings (pokambor avenue, siem reap, cambodia) 2010 © nicole davis

burnt offerings (pokambor avenue, siem reap, cambodia) 2010 © nicole davis

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