Gong xi fa cai! Happy Chinese new year 2013!

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Gong xi fa cai to all of the Asian’s out there celebrating the new year which is tomorrow, Sunday February 10. In Melbourne, there’s various large Asian hubs, and they generally stagger their celebrations over the week before and after the main day. The city of Box Hill will be going off right about now, with its usual hub of delicious food tents, while in Melbourne CBD’s Chinatown, the main celebrations will be tomorrow.

I will head into town and hopefully get my twisty Korean potato snacks on. Each year there’s also a large hawkers market set up out front of the Crown Casino, which I am sure will also be full of delicious meals.

Back on the Chinese mainland, some two million people will be on the move with the new year. Regardless of how much money a person has, it’s expected that they make the trip back to see their family. In many cases – particularly those of the migrant workers, it’s the only time in the year that they see their loved ones. Could you imagine only seeing your wife just once in an entire year? Your mum? Your children?

In years past, the train stations have been the main hub of these horrific travel periods, but increasingly, as a rising middle class appears, airports will become increasingly chaotic. The growing accessibility to air travel should alleviate some of the burden on the rail system – but by only a small amount. Each year, tickets are difficult to get, moreso considering that in China, you cant buy them in advance. You have to purchase tickets a mere five days out from the time of traveling – something that really goes against the western notion of planning in advance.

But still, at least there’s not the massive snowstorms of recent years – which would have been hellish to say the least.

Happy Chinese new year! I hope 2013 is a prosperous one, and NOT full of snakes 🙂

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