Is It Your Year To Monkey Around?
By Hannah Sbeghen, Social media reporter
Yellow dancing lion heads spring to life above pairs of human legs as they zigzag past bursts of crimson lanterns and jump at every clap of their drum master. Such sights and sounds will be hard to miss this week as Brisbane celebrates the beginning of the 2016 Chinese Lunar New Year.
Happy Chinese New Year!
Celebrations have started around the world, and it’s a strange feeling hearing Happy New Year again after many of us celebrated our “New Year, New You” on the first of January, but the celebration is a great way to embrace Asian culture.
The students at Griffith Uni’s Nathan campus who were able to head to Sunnybank this past weekend, would have found it buzzing with traditional Chinese celebrations, whilst some Griffith students like Daniel Chen who are missing out on a traditional family celebration in Taiwan can at least enjoy these local festivities which are set to continue well into February in this the year of the Monkey.
“My family is from Taiwan. We usually celebrate by eating a lot, watching special New Year television variety shows, and playing mah-jong,” said Danny.
We should count ourselves lucky to experience such a range of special events, from traditional lion dancers and firecracker displays, to sumptuous Chinese banquets and street food markets and there’s more luck in store for some of us, especially those born in the year of the Monkey.
Traditionally, each Chinese New Year, a lunar celebration is characterised by one of 12 animals in the zodiac. For those born in the year of the Monkey, that’s all of you ’92 babies and those from 1980, 1968, 1956, etc…, it’s your lucky day! (And every other day this year too, apparently). Lucky advice this year is to choose numbers one, seven and eight and shades of white, gold and blue.
Danny’s zodiac is the pig.
“Looks like I will be pretty popular with girls this year, which is something I am looking forward to.”
But do the Chinese really believe the zodiac, or are they just old wives tales?
Danny said most people take it pretty seriously.
“I believe in it, well, sometimes,” he said.
Here’s a roundup of where you can get your dose of culture and dumplings this week
BrisAsia festival 2016: Hosted around Brisbane, the BrisAsia festival will continue the celebrations until the 28th February.
Indooroopilly Shopping Centre: From the 10th of February you can find traditional lion dancers and fortune cookie giveaways.
Laneway Asian Mixer: Stephens Lane transforms into a city of lanterns with a lunar menu on February 10th.