When Australia is such a rich multicultural country full of people from diverse backgrounds it’s easy to forget that not everyone celebrates the same events. For some, the new year doesn’t start until February.
Whilst Australia has a large Chinese community, we have come to know Lunar New Year as Chinese New Year often experiencing the famous lion dance and firecrackers ourselves at Chinese restaurants. But we are forgetting that much of Asia like Japan, Korea and Vietnam celebrate their own Lunar New Year with their own unique traditions.
Lunar New Year Traditions
- Adults and parents gift their children and the young red packets, red envelopes often featuring a rich traditional design with money inside often given in an amount with an auspicious number like RMB$8.88. It’s lucky to be the oldest child who is often given more than the youngest!
- In Korea people literally age with the traditional rice cake soup. Traditionally Koreans grow an extra year older not on their birth date, but on Lunar New Year.
- Respect and honour is given to adults, grandparents and revered older people by bowing and offering them the first slice of roast duck.
- Respect is given to ancestors by the giving of offerings like fruit and lighting incense.
2020 the Year of the Rat
The 2020 Lunar New Year brings us the Year of the Rat, for those born in the year of the rat (2020, 2008, 1996, 1984) are said to be quick thinking, optimistic and adaptable. Notable people include: William Shakespeare, Mozart & Rosa Parks.
At Angel’s Paradise Early Learning Centres, we believe respect and diversity make Australia a richer place.