China, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, Malaysia and many Asian countries celebrate the Lunar New Year as national holidays. Australia celebrates too in a big way through cultural activities and festivities, although not a public holiday.
What does the Lunar New Year 2018 mean to you? The Chinese in mainland China and outside China, call it the Chinese New Year and they generally have many traditional activities and symbolic meanings attached to this celebration which lasts for up to 15 days. The new year also signifies the end of the Rooster Year and the beginning of the Year of the Dog.
In multicultural Australia, we must be mindful that the 16th February is not just the first day of the Chinese New Year but is also celebrated as the Lunar New Year by people from Thailand, Vietnam and other Asian countries.
Whilst it is great to say “Happy Chinese New Year” greetings to your chinese friends and families, don’t assume it is correct to say that to any Asian person.
The more appropriate term is “Happy Lunar New Year”, to include non-Chinese Asians who also celebrate this happy occasion.
It is fantastic to see Sydney continue to embrace more and more cultural activities, including the festivities of the Lunar New Year 2018.
If you are in Sydney, check out the wonderful choice of things you can do here. There are festivals organised by the various community groups.
It is more appropriate to celebrate and call it the Lunar New Year festival.
When it is called the Chinese New Year, it generally is organised by Chinese people who input all their Chinese traditions according to their beliefs and cultural meanings relevant to them. It is never intended to be offensive, many don’t know that it’s also a new year for other non-Chinese Asians in Australia.
To my friends, colleagues and families celebrating this occasion or joining in the celebration on 16th February, wishing you a Happy Lunar New Year 2018!
And in case you are interested, the Australian Malaysian Singaporean Association (AMSA) is holding an event to celebrate the Happy occasion, a popular event amongst Asian and non-Asian Australians each Lunar New Year! AMSA also holds events to celebrate the New Year for Indians, Malay/ Muslim’s and Xmas. We celebrate as much as we can to promote harmony in diversity. www.amsa.com.au