What is Lunar New Year like where there isn’t ‘Lunar New Year’?


A couple of months back I shared how Christmas is ‘celebrated’ in a part of the world which isn’t Christian. In my natural stand against cultural prejudice it followed that I would have to turn it around some day. And so we get to Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year is quite a quirky concept in Sydney. Unlike the Christmas in Japan example, there is more than a sizeable amount of ethnic Chinese is Sydney for Lunar New Year to actually be celebrated. But of course, the authentic Lunar New Year celebrations are left to the private realm.

Yet that doesn’t stop Sydney, being the multicultural city it is, from using it as an excuse to put on a show. There are the lion dances. There is the theatre. And just like Santa Claus giving Christmas presents, consumerism jumping on board with themed promotions – in hongbao.

This one ha to be my favourite. Spotted at an ad hoc Lunar New Year night market (yes, night, but daylight savings goes on for a while here), this clever promo merged the hongbao with something else Westeners love about Asia, albeit in a culturally generalising way, at this time of year.

Hanging them off a cherry blossom tree. Who’d a thought it. It’s westernised … Sydney is a Western City after all. Bye the fact that Lunar New Year is a big deal now shows its embrace of multiculturalism as part of its DNA.


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