On the 10th of February a new day dawns for all born under the “Year of the Water Snake” and the Lunar New Year celebration begins.

Three thousand years ago before the celebration of Christmas, the Chinese began to tell a mythical tale of an animal race to claim their places in the Chinese horoscope.

Be sure to check your horoscope. This year is going to be especially good for those who were born in the year of the horse, dragon, ox, tiger and goat.  People born in the year of the Snake are intuitive, introspective and graceful. They are contemplative and are achievement-driven.

Also according to legend, a beast called “Nian” would appear every year to feast on humans. The people soon found out that the beast was afraid of the colour red, bright light and loud noise. This started the tradition of lighting firecrackers during the hour entering Chinese New Year.

There are many things that the Chinese do (or avoid doing) during this time. They like to wear red; it is considered a bright, happy and lucky colour, sure to bring the wearer a sunny and bright future. New clothes are preferred to usher in the New Year and start fresh. Debts have to be paid off before New Year’s Eve, and it is unlucky to lend or borrow anything at this time. Using sharp objects or cutting anything, including your hair or nails, will cut into your prosperity. The house needs to be cleaned before Chinese New Year, as it is inauspicious to sweep the floor and be at risk of sweeping out your good luck. Many would also open every door and window to allow the old year out.

Chinese New Year has become an increasingly important occasion in Western countries, including USA, Canada, UK and Australia. It’s a welcome excuse to gather friends and family, feast on Chinese cuisine and discover the beauty of another rich culture in the community. It is an opportunity to wish good fortune to everyone nearest and dearest.

If you are not in China, welcome China to you. Celebrating is easy regardless of where you are.  Home to one of the largest Chinese populations outside of Asia, Sydney claims to have the largest Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia with over 600,000 people who attend celebrations all over the city.

There are many festivities to dive into close by. Taste and experience your share of delightful food, symbolic decorations and mystical lanterns, or perhaps grab a seat to watch an artistic Chinese New Year parade. Lets not forget the amazing fireworks that always accompany this time of year.

The end of the 15-day celebration arrives in the form of a beautiful lantern festival. I have cheerful memories of sampling every type of street food the market has to offer. I’ve enjoyed dumplings whilst watching a traditional Chinese lion dance. These experiences cannot be equaled.

Chinese New Year celebrations have evolved into a big social event that influences both society and business in Australia. The support of our Chinese partners is always appreciated and we would like to take this opportunity to show our gratitude.

Remember, how you celebrate Chinese New Year is a projection of how the year ahead will unfold. So, be sure to put your best foot forward and enjoy the celebrations!

By Rohan Geo

Image source: @jaym3s2 via Instagram

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