Airlie man gives glimpse inside Chinese New Year with family
CHINESE New Year was celebrated around the region last weekend.
The Chinese New Year of 2020 fell on Saturday, January 25, and the festival will last until February 8.
Chef William Tan, who owns Noodle and Rice, in Airlie Beach, celebrated at a friend's house, in Cannonvale, on Friday, January 24, which is Chinese New Year's Eve.
A 'reunion dinner' is often held on New Year's Eve of the Chinese New Year, during which family members get together to celebrate. It is often considered the most important meal of the year.
"We had a reunion dinner with Chinese and Australian friends, at Peggy and Dylan's place, in Cannonvale," Mr Tan, 26, said.
"We had Chinese Hot Pot for dinner with all sorts of meat, seafood and veggies, and of course some noodles too.
"For meat, we normally use paper-thin beef and pork. We also had some prawns, crab cakes, fish tofu and dumplings. For veggies, we had sweet corn, mushrooms and cabbage.
"We also had some red banners, called fai chun in Hong Kong, which are a traditional decoration frequently used during Chinese New Year.
"People put fai chun in the doorways to create a jubilant, festive atmosphere, since the phrases written on them mean good luck and prosperity."
Mr Tan said it was important to recognise Chinese New Year.
"It helps to keep the traditions alive, so we can have it pass on to our next generation," he said.
"It is important because it's a chance to bring family and friends together, just like Christmas."
Chinese New Year dates vary slightly between years because the festival is based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar but it usually falls during the period from January 21 to February 20.
The lunar calendar is associated with the movement of the moon, which usually defines traditional festivals like the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), Lantern Festival and Dragon Boat Festival.
The lunar calendar is also associated with 12 animal signs in the Chinese zodiac, so every 12 years is regarded as a cycle, with 2020 being the Year of the Rat.
Rats are supposed to be clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life.