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Happy Chinese New Year

8th February 2013

This week many red envelopes filled with money will be swapped in honour of the Chinese New Year. The longest and most important festivity in the Chinese calendar, this custom is celebrated by many people throughout the world. Traditionally, Chinese families will host a feast on the eve of the New Year, ending the night with a bang using Chinese fire crackers. The next day children will receive a red envelope with money inside from their parents. Many Chinatowns around Australia will be celebrating this week with traditional festivities including dragon and lion dances, firecrackers and parades.

Check out your local Chinatown and join in the Chinese New Year festivities.

Chinatown Chinatown, Brisbane

In 1996, Brisbane’s Chinatown mall on Duncan Street featured in the film Jackie Chan’s First Strike. The scene involved an elaborate car crash and resulted in a destroyed pagoda. It has since been rebuilt and this pagoda is still a prominent feature of the Chinatown mall today. A major destination for Brisbane residents and tourists, Brisbane’s Chinatown has an array of traditional Chinese architecture, culture, food and shopping. Take a photo at the entrance under the Chinese gates next to one of the 320 kilogram stone guard lions.

Immerse yourself in modern Chinese culture at Sydney’s Chinatown on Dixon Street. Every Friday night, this town comes alive as it plays host to the Chinatown Night Markets. With up to 65 stalls, these markets offer plenty of traditional Asian cuisine, live entertainment and shows. There’s an abundance of shopping to be done with various jewellery, fashion items, clothing, toys and even arts and crafts for sale. Sydney’s Chinatown is also well known for its authentic Asian food and abundance of restaurants. Around this time every year, thousands will gather in Sydney to celebrate at the Chinese New Year Twilight Parade. Watch in awe as floats, lanterns and dancers make their way from Sydney Town Hall to Darling Harbour and enjoy a stunning fireworks finale.

Melbourne’s Chinatown is believed to be the oldest in Australia and also the longest continuous Chinese settlement outside of Asia. Located on Little Bourke Street and adorned with traditional Chinese features, this Chinatown is well known for its grand archway at the entrance. Originally handmade in China, the archway was then transported to Melbourne in many pieces and reconstructed by Chinese craft workers. The beautiful Tianjin Gardens at the eastern entrance of Melbourne’s Chinatown are also a popular area for tourists and visitors. Created by designers from Melbourne and Tianjin, the gardens provide a relaxing area with a beautiful water feature, pavilion and seating space.

Conveniently located in the south east end of the CBD on Moonta Street, Adelaide’s Chinatown is renowned for its international cuisine, from five star restaurants to foods courts and cafes. The Chinatown Café is a very popular lunch spot with a broad menu and affordable pricing. Find exotic ingredients at the many Asian grocers and search for a bargain at the Chinese markets.

The official Chinatown in Perth is located on Roe Street. Featuring the iconic pagoda and lion statues at the entrance, this Chinatown is home to many Asian restaurants offering a range of authentic cuisine options. This weekend, Perth will host the Chinese New Year festival with the traditional Chinese lion dance, firecrackers, folk music and martial artists.