Northern Rivers residents celebrate Chinese New Year with a celebratory dinner in Lismore (From Left) Yue Qu, Xi Liu, Lei Liu, Yuan, and Xia Trembath.
Northern Rivers residents celebrate Chinese New Year with a celebratory dinner in Lismore (From Left) Yue Qu, Xi Liu, Lei Liu, Yuan, and Xia Trembath. Doug Eaton

Enter the Year of the Dragon

LISMORE is a long way from China but that hasn't stopped celebrations for Chinese New Year.

Today marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year in China and last night families celebrated the season by eating pork and Jiaozi (dumplings) at the home of Crystal He, who is a PHD student at Southern Cross University.

"Traditionally one person would cook a banquet but we are bending the rules a little bit because we are in Australia so everyone is bringing one or two dishes," Ms He said.

Xiang Zhu Gao of Lismore said "every family will have a banquet" in China to celebrate Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Spring Festival.

"Spring Festival or Chinese New Year is a very important festival in China which is similar to how Christmas is celebrated here," he said.

This year marks the Year of the Dragon, which is a symbol associated with power going back to Chinese Imperial kings.

Ms He said people born in the Year of the Dragon will have to be careful this year.

"You can't say it's lucky or unlucky but this year is the dragon year so dragon people will have to do things carefully."

"If you want to avoid bad luck those people should wear red undies, or red belt, or girls can wear red bangles on their wrists to avoid bad things happening," she laughed.

Chinese New Year celebrations will go on for days in China, but Ms He said celebrations in Lismore will be more low-key.

"My mum is staying with me today and she's very traditional so she wants to celebrate but because many of us are from overseas we have to form our own family here."

YEAR OF THE DRAGON:

The dragon is one of the 12-year cycle of animals in the Chinese zodiac

The dragon is the mightiest of the signs

The dragon is said to be a deliverer of good fortune and a master of authority.



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