ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Celebrating Chinese New Year in Australia

Updated on May 4, 2017
creativearts2009 profile image

Cecelia has researched H.P. Lovecraft and fairy tales. Working with kindergartens, Cecelia became interested in speech development.

This lion statue at Renmark marks its status as sister city to an Asian city.
This lion statue at Renmark marks its status as sister city to an Asian city. | Source


Although I am Australian, I have celebrated Chinese New Year regularly for some years out of appreciation for the beauty and antiquity of the Chinese culture. Modern astronomy follows the Chinese system of recording observations in relation to the equator which dates back to 2400 BC (also referred to as Before Common Era). The Chinese were drawing maps with grid lines and referring to geographical positions by their coordinates by 2 AD (also referred to as Common Era). They were drilling for natural gas around 1 Bc and also projecting pictures using a “magic lantern” (Temple pp.30-31, 37, 51 & 87).

Chinese researchers described the flow of blood in the body as being pumped by the heart through 2 systems which they called the Yin and Yang by the second century BC. While their interpretation may have different than that of Western Medicine, we do have two blood systems, the arteriole and venus systems, one which pumps oxygenated blood around the body and one which returns blood to the heart and lungs. By the third century AD Chinese physicians were treating deficiency diseases, in the tenth century they were attempting hormone therapy and by the tenth century practicing a primitive, but apparently effective form of vaccination against smallpox. (pp.123-135)

Temple, R.K.G., 1986 China: land of discovery, Patrick Stephens LTD, Wellingborough


When is the Chinese New Year?

The Chinese New Year covers a month of the Chinese lunar calendar. In 2015 the Chinese New Year commences on the 19th of February and ends on the 5th of March. The timing is just great for me as I have recovered from the stress of the Western Christmas / New Year period and also have had a month to consider truly viable goals for the New Year.

In China the first three days would be statutory public holidays and many of the following days would also be free from work so people could enjoy the season thoroughly. In Australia, the Chinese New Year has not been granted a public holiday, but many families, restaurants and markets continue to celebrate the festival.

The Chinese New Year is also known as the “spring festival” and belongs to a cycle of festivals celebrated in China. In Australia and the surrounding pacific regions, the weather is hot as the season is summer and it could be said that the festival is closer to ushering in autumn in March. The festival dates back some 4000 years and has roots in sacrifices and prayers offered for the beginning of the yearly planting cycle.




Families meet together to celebrate the Chinese New Year by feasting. The New Year’s Eve (February 18 2015) is marked by a “Reunion Dinner” in which all the generations of a family (grandparents, parents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins etc…) gather together. After eating a multi-course meal of traditional dishes such as sweet and sour fish and dumplings, the older people may sit down to reminisce while the younger ones play parlour games. Red envelopes containing money are presented to children and seniors.

Throughout the festival period in Australia Chinese restaurants also offer New Year feasts and traditional Lion dancers perform at these feasts. The Lion dancers can also be seen performing in the streets and at markets in areas of the city where there are a significant number of Chinese businesses or Chinese influence.


The Calendar

The Chinese lunar calendar follows a 12 year cycle and each year in the cycle is named after an animal.

  • Snake - 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
  • Horse - 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
  • Goat / Sheep - 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
  • Monkey - 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
  • Rooster - 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1989
  • Dog - 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982,1970
  • Pig - 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959
  • Rat - 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
  • Ox - 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
  • Tiger - 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
  • Rabbit - 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
  • Dragon - 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964

Chinese Astrology

In Chinese astrology, a person’s destiny is affected by the animal sign of their year of birth. When this year comes around again (every 12 years), that year can be especially fateful or especially lucky for the person. In addition to the year of birth, the date and hour of birth can affect the “aspect” creating an association with either Yin (female or negative) or Yang (male or positive) tendencies. Birth hour can also bring association with one of the five alchemical “elements”: wood, fire, earth, metal and water.


Characteristics of the 12 houses

It is thought that people born under the sign of:

  • The Rat are clever, popular, hard-working and careful with money.

  • The Ox are patient, stubborn, loyal and strong.

  • The Tiger are adventurous, lucky, charismatic and changeable.

  • The Rabbit are lucky, intelligent, sensitive, creative, passionate and cunning.

  • The Dragon are powerful, energetic, confident and successful.

  • The Snake are intriguing, private, independent and persistent.

  • The Horse are happy, outgoing, unpredictable, and daring.

  • The Goat / Sheep are patient, kind, sensitive, artistic and mildly pessimistic.

  • The Monkey are cunning, capable, proud, attractive and adaptable.

  • The Rooster are eccentric, and meticulous, amusing, forthright.

  • The Dog are loving, accepting, impartial, intelligent and rational.

  • The Pig are truthful, enthusiastic, sensual and industrious.

King, F.X. 1999 The Encyclopedia of Fortune Telling, Hamlyn, London, pp.158-175

Honey sesame toast

This recipe is a personal adaption of prawn toast. The prawn flavour can be a little strong for children’s taste and also individuals can be allergic to sea food.



  • 1 garlic clove roughly chopped, (or dried garlic)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger, (or ginger powder)
  • 2 egg-whites
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 100 ml honey
  • 6 slices white bread
  • Sesame oil, to brush
  • Sunflower oil, to shallow fry
  • Sesame seeds, to coat toast
Cast your vote for Honey sesame toast


  1. Place the honey, garlic, ginger, egg-whites, spring onion and soy sauce in a bowl (or food processor) and mix into a fine paste.
  2. Cut crusts off the bread slices
  3. Brush each side of each slice with a little sesame oil
  4. Spread honey mixture making sure it covers both sides of each piece
  5. Heat 1-2 cm oil in a deep fry pan
  6. Shallow fry toasts for 1-2 minutes each side or till golden brown.
  7. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.
  8. Cut into quarter size triangles.
  9. Dip each slice in sesame seeds and extra soy sauce.

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)