Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Year of the Rabbit

Gong hei fat choy! Today is the first day of the lunar new year – this year represented by the rabbit (for those born in 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1921 and so on – this is your year).

Last weekend's Chinese New Year markets
I’m not big on zodiac so I don’t know what the year will bring (go the Rabbitohs?!) but I know that Chinese New Year is a time for being with family and loved ones, sharing good wishes for health, prosperity and happiness – and lots and lots of food. Oh, and the occasional lucky red packet if you’re unmarried (and realistically - sadly - under the age of 25).

Lion dancers at World Square, George Street, Sydney
On food, Chinatown is the obvious place to hit at this time, though be aware of the crowds that are likely to descend on the area to check out the traditional lion and dragon dances through the streets, deafening firecrackers to ward off evil and bad luck, and generally revel in this festive time. (SMH also has a list of regional Chinese eats here, many outside of the Chinatown area too).

Jin Wu Koon lion dance troupe at World Square, George St, Sydney
There’s a week-long food festival of sorts at World Square that started yesterday, officially opened with a traditional lion dance by award-winning troupe, Jin Wu Koon. Well, the stilt jumping bit was maybe not so traditional, but very impressive nonetheless.

Lion taking lettuce and lucky red packets

Samples from Chatime, World Square
Ongoing till 11 February will be samples from some of the eateries in World Square. I scored a sample of premium pearl milk tea from Chatime yesterday, which was cool and refreshing in the heat (Taste of Shanghai and Din Tai Fung are also sampling – check out the schedule here).

Lion dancers inside Din Tai Fung, World Square

Lion dancers and bemused diners at Din Tai Fung
Lunch at Din Tai Fung was also a perfect start to the new year’s celebrations, especially as dumplings are revered as lucky foods for their resemblance to olden forms of Chinese currency. Post to come, courtesy of PPR, World Square and Din Tai Fung.

Prior years' Twilight Parade participants
Then there’s the City of Sydney’s pièce de résistance – the Chinese New Year Twilight Parade on Sunday evening (6 February), from Town Hall to Chinatown, passing by World Square on George Street.

Ready for lion dancing?
We will be sure to see many bunnies and lions during the parade, but excitingly, one-third of the parade will consist of performers from Hubei, China. See full details here – and see you at the parade, ‘wascally wabbits’.


Simon Food Favourites said...

wow you went to so many events. i missed the Chatime samples :-( you've taken some great photos to capture the amazing lion dance act. they were fantastic. here's a video of them :-)

joey@FoodiePop said...

Happy new year to you too!

LOL @ "Go the Rabbitohs"! Russell Crowe will be happy! :-D

thang@noodlies said...

I'm so glad Lunar New Year is finally on the map! It's so much fun!

missklicious said...

Happy CNY! The Twilight parade should be great =)

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

Happy New Year! Luckily neither my husband's nor my family adhere to the marriage-and-age rules because we both still get red packets - hurrah =D

Tina said...

Hey Simon - Cool vid.

Hi joey - So will the bunnies ;)

Hi Thang - Isn't it? A second new years to celebrate!

Hi missklicious - Yes, I'm looking forward to it!

Hi mademoiselle délicieuse - Lucky you indeed!

skye@wildsugar said...

I love chinese new year... particularly last year when we were on lockdown in the masterchef house. Alvin ordered in a whole lots of beautiful produce, which we all assisted with making some sensational dishes (under his watchful eye of course). Jono gave everyone an envelope filled with the chocolate gold coins and shared a new year blessing. Such a tasty night all round that I will never forget. Love your blog! Thanks :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I love CNY because it always means delicious food! Sadly the days of red packets for me are long over :P

Tina said...

Hi Skye - Such a great time, CNY - food, red packets - can't complain!

Hi Lorraine - Yep, more food and less red packets these days for me... :S


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