Chinese New Year – The Year of the Pig! 新年快乐
Millions of people from all corners of the globe have kicked off the celebrations for Chinese New Year in 2019 – the Year of the Pig! The Year of the Pig festivities will take place from February 2 until February 17, with February 5 as Chinese New Year’s Day. In Chinese mythology, the Pig is symbolic for bravery and determination in the face of conflict – Pigs are honest, trusting, educated, sincere, brave and are blessed with good fortune in life.
This is an exciting time at Go West, with many locals joining us on tour as part of their celebrations and time in Australia. In this article we cover what it means to celebrate Chinese New Year, as well as what you can expect when celebrating in Melbourne.
What is Chinese New Year?
In China, the New Year doesn’t commence on the 1st of January, but on the second new moon of the next year. Their celebrations last for 15 days, ending on a full moon. Locals often celebrate by visiting family and friends, giving special meals and gifts, and of course, fireworks! In modern China, working professionals will normally have 7 days of holiday to celebrate. After a family reunion, some modern Chinese families may take the chance to visit tourist destinations.
According to legends, the Chinese started to fight a mythical beast called “Year”. The “Year” looks like an ox with a lion head who lives in the sea, coming out on the night of the old year to harm people, properties and animals. Later, people found that the “Year” fears the colour red, fire, and loud sounds. Therefore, for self-protection, people formed the habit of painting the front of their house, as well as launching fireworks and hanging lanterns at year end. Some other traditions during the New year festival include cleaning the house, shopping, putting up the spring couplets and of course the family dinner. They have two evenings where they let off fireworks, with the first being in the old year, and the finale on the fifteenth day.
Chinese New Year in Melbourne
Melbourne’s CBD will be transformed for an entire week whilst the new year celebrations take place. Beginning on Saturday 2nd, the 2019 Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival will be officially unveiled by the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne, along the Yarra River at Queensbridge Square.
Looking for things to do in Melbourne? Here are our top picks below:
Lunar New Year At Crown Casino
Welcome in the Year of the Pig with an array of events and celebrations across Crown. From Friday 8th of February you can enjoy a bustling Hawker-style market, while roving entertainers showcase a range of incredible multicultural talent, including roving Cai Shen and Fu Lu Shou displays. Don’t miss the spectacular fireworks display along the Crown Riverwalk on Saturday 9 February at 9:45pm.
Lantern Festival at the Queen Vic Market
Chinese New Year traditionally ends with the Lantern Festival (also known as Yuan Xiao Jie). To wind up the celebrations, head down to the Queen Victoria Market where there will be Melbourne’s very own Lantern Festival, jam-packed with plenty of entertainment, mouth-watering food and lots of family activities.
Sea Life Melbourne
Watch in awe as a spectacular underwater dragon swims with the fish at Melbourne’s Sea Life aquarium to bring good luck for the year ahead. Beginning on the 2nd of February until the 17th of February, there will be plenty of festivities for guests to join in on the Lunar New Year activities.