Chinese New Year party time
FOR Chen Ling, Chinese New Year on Monday will be very different.
She normally spends the festive occasion with her family and friends in China, but this year she is in Lismore.
“We are still going to have a big party,” she said.
“We will cook a big, traditional Chinese meal at our house. There will be dumplings.
“After the food we will probably sit around and play mah-jong.
“Unfortunately we will not be able to have any fireworks this year, like we do in China.”
Chen Ling has only been on the Northern Rivers for two months, where she is studying English through Southern Cross University's English Language Centre.
She will then go on to study accounting.
Her friends at the centre are also planning to celebrate Chinese New Year in Australia.
“It's the Year of the Ox. Every 12 years it starts again. It's a circle,” student Liu Xiu said.
Student leader Jim Ming said he would also celebrate with a party.
“I have just moved to a new house,” he said.
“We will play games and eat. It is nice to be in Australia. It's lovely.”
It is believed people born in the Chinese New Year of the Ox are dependable, loyal, patient, strong and responsible.
But they can also be narrow-minded and stubborn.
The Chinese phrase for celebrating New Year, Guo nian, means 'the passing of the beast'.
In Chinese mythology, a nian is a beast. Once each spring, around Chinese New Year, it comes out of hiding to attack people, especially children.
But the nian is sensitive to loud noises and afraid of the colour red.
To drive it away, the Chinese decorate things in red, have firecrackers and perform lion dances.