January 19, 2012

Gung Hay Fat Choy—Aussie Style

I’m not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the way the Chinese New Year supplanted the regular New Year in terms of significance for Maia. Obviously we’re not an Asian family, but life in Vancouver exposed our daughter to bubble tea, Buddhist Temples and lion dances with the same frequency she experienced the Easter Bunny and Valentines.

By the time she was in school she had learned many different Lunar New Year traditions, and it never occurred to her not to adopt them as her own. When her friends were getting new brocade Cheongsam dresses for New Years Maia wanted one too. When the red envelopes were handed out she accepted them with joy.

And because I live with her, I was the recipient of many detailed directions on how to properly celebrate. I learned to clean my house before New Years (to sweep away bad luck), and to plan a big dinner (although we have been known to throw in a bit of Robbie Burns poetry with our egg rolls…), and to give out Lai See--red envelopes with chocolate to the children of friends.

The Year of the Dragon starts on Monday. And while the Year of the Rabbit went quite nicely for us—it’s intriguing to contemplate heading into a powerful year that is marked by excitement, exhilaration and intensity, while being unpredictable and having a strong water focus.
To celebrate the start of the two week festival of Spring (well at least it'll be Spring somewhere) we headed to Brisbane’s Chinatown Mall--which really did turn out to be just an outdoor mall with a few Asian restaurants and a couple of discount shops. We did find a tasty Dim Sum/ Yum Cha and a lion dance though, and stocked up on a few necessities for our upcoming Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.
 So bring on the Dragon.

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