It’s that Chinese New Year time of the year again

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So it’s that time of the year again; when Box Hill sparkles with the glittering gold of polished plastic bullions, majestic sailing ships and…pineapples. Joining these items are several large coloured fake jade trout and piles upon piles of gift boxes containing chocolate wafers and cookies. This of course must mean that it’s almost Chinese New Year again.

I’d love to buy some of these items as a gaudy joke for several friends, but they’re expensive as hell! Gift boxes of cookies can go up to the $50-$80.00 marks, whilst god only knows how much the ships and fish sell for. When it comes to giving face gaining presents during the most important part of the Chinese year, the Chinese are not afraid to splash out.

I always like these festivals. My company will  have a tent at this year’s Box Hill festival, promoting our adult learning centre.  I’ve volunteered to be in the tent for an hour or two which should be a hoot, as some eighty thousand Chinese descend upon the town. We forgot about it last year, only hearing about it the weekend after, but this year it’s being held on the 21st of January and I expect to be well fed on cumin and chilli covered lamb skewers!

We went in 2010 and it was not bad. Despite the delicious array of stalls selling meat skewers and toffee covered fruit sticks, there was also an eclectic mix of vendors selling anything from pillows to bank accounts or promoting christianity. Around this, rival DVD stands attempted to blast each other away with thumping speakers cranked just beyond the distortion level – a level which most Chinese are seemingly immune to, as it’s something we on the Chinese almost daily.

There’s always a certain energy, colour and vibrancy to Chinese festivals, with the new year being the highlight of the year. If anything, it’s a chance to wander around and observe the Chinese doing what they do best..being Chinese, whilst stuffing my face with happiness.

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