As an Australian living abroad for most of my adult life among cultures which are pretty foreign to my own (in China and United Arab Emirates), I came to develop a bit of nostalgia for my own culture. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as they say! In the places I lived, Christmas is not as widely celebrated, so whenever I saw the beautiful, heartfelt and traditional icons I know and love – Santa, holly, red and green, Christmas trees and so on – I would instantly appreciate the connection to my culture, feel a sense of belonging, and yes even feel a touch homesick too.
MultiConnexions’ research shows that Chinese and other Asians living in Australia experience a similar feeling to my own – especially during Lunar New Year. Bring on the red packets, lanterns, cute children begging for hong baos, lucky 8, and more! Cultural icons have the power to move us, give us a sense of belonging and touch the heart. There’s a lot to be said for tradition, and reinventing traditions too.
The Year of the Mouse (or rat) 2020 is upon us. This year we have even more reason to celebrate, as this is the first animal of the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac and is associated with wealth, abundance, wit, alertness and vitality. Like kids in a candy store, the MultiConnexions team are always excited to look at the way in which Australian and global brands tap into the spirit of this traditional and most important festival to engage those celebrating. Let’s have a look at some of our top picks.
Tom & Jerry
With the iconic cartoon celebrating its lucky 80th anniversary in the Year of the Mouse, Kate Spade New York presented a playful collection featuring Jerry in a bold, traditional red hue. Fashion and luxury style meet tradition? Yes, please!
source: Sanchay Mohan
From one iconic cartoon mouse to another, it was inevitable that we would have our eyes on Disney in the Year of the Rat. From partnerships with SKII, Uniqlo and Gucci to present bespoke co-branded products, to massive celebrations in Disney theme parks, this year is a big one for Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Australia Post took inspiration from China’s beloved Peking Opera to create a stunning collectable stamp series – no doubt popular among daigous.
Johnnie Walker released a limited-edition bottle of Blue Label whiskey to celebrate the Year of the Rat. Featuring a mouse-motif and traditional design, this product taps into the gifting culture and booming whiskey sales among Chinese audiences.
Luxury dinnerware maker Wedgwood created a pink jasper plate with white bas-relief and 22 carat gold gilding depicting a rat in a blossom tree for the lucky price of $208.
Queen Victoria Building, Sydney
Sydney’s iconic QVB building did not disappoint with their festive in-store decorations this year as huge golden mice hung paw to tail from the central atrium. QVB celebrations also featured selfie spots, a QVB wishing station, gifts with purchase and lucky red envelopes.
I would like to wish a very Happy Lunar New Year to all those celebrating!