Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
Most recently I have been enjoying exploring other art genres, including Eco-dyeing.
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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Happy Chinese New Year: 新年快乐 - xīn nián kuài lè

Happy New Year - Xin Nian Kuai Le 
Chinese New Year - 16 February to 2 March


The celebrations for the 2018 Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival) have just drawn to a close. 

Last year, 2017, we were in Sydney during the Chinese New Year celebrations (Year of the Rooster), and there was a riot of colour, sound and experiences not only in the China Town quarter, but also around Circular Quay on Sydney Harbour and the excitement and furious pace of the Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Festival at Darling Harbour. 

Here are the roosters which were lit up at night on the Sydney waterfront just below the Opera House (you can see it in the background of this shot). 



This year we enjoyed some of the Chinese New Year celebrations at an event organised by a local family in our town and hosted at the Stirling Street Arts Centre. 

We managed to secure a spot in the front row at the central stage where we enjoyed dance performances by the Chang Zhi Dan Dance School, a Tai Chi display from a member of the Tai Chi Academy, a flute performance by Xiang Ji, a tea ceremony from a member of the Oriental Culture and Arts Association, and a demonstration of Chinese painting. 



There was also a table tennis demonstration, food stalls, calligraphy demonstrations, mini language lessons, arts and crafts activities, paper crafts, mah jong games, and other activities. There was also a photo exhibition from Zhejiang Province. Our city's Chinese Sister City is Jiaxing which has a population of 3.4 million and lies on the Grand Canal of China, the longest canal in the world. 



Later on in the day dancers from the Balcatta Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy performed the Lion Dance. I love seeing this but unfortunately we were not able to stay.  However we have seen it many times before including at many dragon boat regattas and in Sydney last year, where I took this photo you see below here. I am amazed by the athleticism and strength of these guys as they stand on the shoulders of their partner. 
I am always drawn into the drumming and clashing of symbols of the Lion Dance. 


 Click on the link below to see a film clip of a Lion Dance in Beijing during the 2016 New Year celebrations.


 Some interesting facts about Chinese New Year - 
  • Chinese New Year is also known as Spring Festival and Lunar New Year. The date changes every year depending on the moon. Chinese New Year ends with the Lantern Festival, where lanterns are believed to light the way for the new year. 
  • Hong Bao or red envelopes containing money are usually given to children at this time of year as a gift of good luck.  
  • Fireworks can be heard throughout the day and night. This tradition began with the legend of Nian - a ferocious monster that ate people.  The loud noises are to scare the monster away. 
You can read other interesting facts about Chinese New Year - Spring Festival - here 21 Things you didn't know about Chinese New Year

2018 in Chinese culture is the Year of the Dog or more precisely this year, brown dog or "earth dog".  People born in the Year of the Dog are usually independent, sincere, loyal and decisive according to Chinese zodiac analysis. They are not afraid of difficulties in daily life and have harmonious relationships with people around them.  You can find out more about people born in the Year of the Dog here - Chinese Year of the Dog

The Dog on display in Sydney last year


I was born in the year of the Goat and I am amazed how many of their traits I have. You can click here to find out what year you were born in and the personality traits of yours and others according to the Chinese Zodiac. 

There are 12 Chinese Zodiac animals and the zodiac system repeats every 12 years.  A zodiac system has existed in Chinese culture since the Qin dynasty, more than 2,000 years ago. Over time the zodiacs became more and more integrated into everyday life, with different meanings and characteristics assigned to each animal. This in turn gave rise to various compatabilities (and incompatabilities) between each zodiac, and play a major role in marriage and career decisions, fortune-telling and much more.
  
You can find out more about Chinese New Year here - Chinese New Year 

 Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed my little post about Chinese New Year. In our multicultural society I feel it is an enriching thing to learn about other cultures.  Did you experience Chinese New Year where you live? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in the comments. 

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.  

You might also like - 
South West Multicultural Festival 
Fitness Focus - Dragon Boating 
10 things to do in Sydney, Australia 

China Town, Sydney
I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection

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16 comments:

  1. Wonderful shots! Love the vibrant colours.

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  2. I enjoy the parade and other festivities during the Chinese New Year. Liked the photos of the dancers and also took advantage of your links to discover I was born in the year of the rabbit.

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  3. The Chinese New Year celebration photos are amazing, love the Lion Dance photos I almost feel as if I was there! Thanks for sharing them with the MM crowd this week.
    Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

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  4. Looks like a fantastic celebration! We celebrated the day with homemade sweet and sour chicken.

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  5. We have Lan Su Chinese Gardens in Portland, OR here and they are doing celebrations as well. I have not been to it...yet. I do love the colorful dragons!

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  6. I've loved Sydney's celebrations this year. So wonderful!

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  7. The Chinese New Year is always so colorful, since red is their favorite color. Your captures of the dancers are invigorating and lovely art. The art we saw in China is at such a high level, so I was surprised drawing attention doing some simple plein airs in Beijing in the streets. Oh, and not to forget the rooster you caught is amazing! Many thanks for capturing all of this for All Seasons!

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  8. Metropolitan areas like Sydney have so much to offer in terms of multi-cultural events ... small towns in Montana, not so much. So, I get my fill from my blogging buddies around the globe. Thanks for the overview of the events and the vibrant colors - I can feel the excitement from here!

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  9. Beautiful shots Jill - you really bring things to life. Chinese new year is such a fun and colourful time, and the shenanigans in Sydney look fantastic :)

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  10. what a beautiful and fun post. Love the gorgeous dancers. :)

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  11. That looks like an amazing event! I love all the bright colors and activities. Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!

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  12. Chinese celebrations are always full of color!

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  13. We were in Hawaii this year for Chinese New Year which is always a big event with the lead up time being almost as interesting and fun filled as the celebration itself!

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  14. I would love the experience of seeing this at least once in my lifetime!!

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