House debates

Monday, 8 February 2016

Statements by Members

Lunar New Year

1:36 pm

Photo of Julie OwensJulie Owens (Parramatta, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business) Share this | | Hansard source

It is Lunar New Year again and people all over the world and all through communities in Australia are celebrating this extraordinary event. Traditionally in the Northern Hemisphere Lunar New Year sees off winter and welcomes in the spring. That is not the case here, but we did see off the year of the goat and we welcome the year of the monkey. Monkeys, in the Chinese tradition, are paradoxically both foolish and wise. So it is going to be a very interesting year!

The events are fantastic. On Saturday I joined Master Ho and the local lion-dancing troupe for the traditional blessing of local businesses. For those of you who have not seen it before, local businesses hang lettuces—quite topical over the weekend!—and red envelopes outside their stores. The lion, with great courage, munches the lettuce and keeps the red envelope. It is a traditional offering to the lion. It was a great day down at Church Street Mall, with lots of kids following the lion around, slightly scared by its noise and its energy but quite fascinated by this traditional event which they can enjoy in this wonderful country of ours, Australia.

I also attended the Vietnamese new year Tet festival in Prairiewood. I would like to thank the work of the Vietnamese Community, particularly the New South Wales chapter and their president, Dr Thang Ha, and their secretary, Tu Le, who put on a fantastic event every year, with lots of firecrackers and lion dancing. They are great events. It is a great celebration, and it highlights the extraordinary East Asian communities in Australia. (Time expired)