Festival Girl Rating: 6.5/10
Parramatta was the place to be on Friday night as the Chinese New Year Year of the Rabbit celebrations really lit up Parramatta. I think this event was a great chance to really show Sydney-siders that Church Street doesnt just end at the Westfield Shopping Centre.
Personally, I love visiting the south side of Church Street and I not sure why it doesn't buzz the same way the other side of Church Street does. I hope this event can hopefully help to life the profile of Parramatta's Chinatown. As always, I was super excited for this event as I love all things dumpling related.
Festival Girl Highlights:
Mmmm BBQ Pork and Duck - my favourite
So many yummy things to eat.... Mmmm dumplings and tarts. Many of the dishes served over New Year have Chinese names that can represent other words such as prosperity, bounty and luck.
A nice, cold Ice tea was the best way to combat the afternoon heat. Pictured is a beautiful traditional Chinese lantern
Even the doggies are celebrating this festival
Traditionally dressed Chinese New Year well wishers. These costumes were really amazing in person and there was so much detail, especially in the head ware. Apparently, the colour Red symbolises fire, which the Chinese believe drives away bad luck.
Some costumed elders are passing out Red packets to unmarried juniors and children. The red packets symbolise wealth and are given to ward evil spirits off. The amounts vary however as per custom, the amount of money in the red packets should be of even numbers, as odd numbers are associated with cash given during funerals.
A clown entertaining the little ones and there was also lots of face painting fun
Feel like a massage? Yes please
How to make Lotus flower classes - there were so many people crowding around, I could barely get close enough to take some pictures
Chinese culture dictates to clean your house and sweep out the bad luck of the previous year. Get to that spring cleaning!
And here is one I prepared earlier, well, not me personally, but the masters at work. These flowers are so beautiful to look at and are very important to the Asian culture
Chinese Lanterns, Lotus Flower and Lucky Charms are all an integral part of the Chinese New Year festivities
The highlight of most Chinese festivals is the dragon dance. For this event, I'm pretty sure I missed it (dammit), so here are some of the dragon members holding parts of the costume. The dragon can stretch over 30 metres long and is typically made of silk, paper and bamboo. It is believed that the loud beats of the drum and the deafening sounds of the cymbals together with the face of the dragon or lion dancing aggressively can evict bad or evil spirits.
After eating a duck pancake for $2.50, I wanted more. So this is where we went for dinner. YUMMMMMMYY. My favourite is the BBQ Pork and the Roast Duck (must try - I'd definitely recommend it.) Food was quite nice, for some reason I think the hostess was angry with us and only gave us bone plates to eat off (maybe she forgot to give us real plates?). Nether the less, still super yummy. This place is very authentic with loud smiling families, lobsters in tanks and complimentary hot tea.
After dinner, the celebrations were in full roar. Red flags and Chinese lanterns decorate the streets as festival goers see the sights.
Mmm Chinese Gelato?
Not really a lowlight, but a bit confusing. For some reason there were performances from latin american bands, music and performances of Brazilian capoeira to celebrate Chinese New Year. Not really sure what it has to do with Chinese culture, but, I guess, a good example of wonderful cultural diversity that Australia has. Oh, and I guess, super entertaining?
I think if I tried this, I would have heart attack or break my leg, or maybe both
All and all a great night of food, fun and celebrations. The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone. So have a "Kung Hei Fat Choy", or "Gong Xi Far Tsai" - Happy New Year!
*(Go on comment, I dare you! I love BBQ pork buns, tell me why you love them too?)*