Celebrating Chinese New Year in Adelaide

Chinese New Year - 2019 Year of the Pig

As January 2019 closes, Chinese New Year celebrations are being planned for 5 February in Chinese communities across the world – and the Adelaide diaspora is no exception.

Observed on the first new moon of the lunar calendar, years are represented by the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac – with 2019 marking the Year of the Pig. If you’re new to South Australia’s capital or planning to study at Flinders University – you’ll need some local tips to plan your New Year’s celebrations. We spoke to some of our current students and graduates to discover how they plan to celebrate.

“Normally I go down to the street party in Chinatown with my friends,” says David Wei, Flinders Business graduate. “We taste all the food and watch the dance performance. Then we might go to a karaoke bar – The Voice – on Gouger Street.”

A much-loved annual affair – this year marks the 16th anniversary of the Chinatown Adelaide Lunar New Year Street Party. A free, one-day event that draws locals, tourists, dignitaries, and business owners to celebrate Chinese traditions in a community-wide celebration. Throughout the weekend many of Adelaide’s most popular and iconic Chinatown restaurants throw open their doors and host lion dances, with special banquet menus a feature.

Check out: East Taste Café, Ky Chow Restaurant, BBQ City Restaurant, Ding Hao Restaurant and T-Chow Restaurant.

For Master of Accounting student, Jingyi Wang, her New Year will involve a homemade feast.

“I’ll be celebrating New Year with my family at their home, as I have family here,” says Jingyi.

“But my favourite restaurant [for a celebration] is Red Chilli. It has exquisite decoration and delicious dishes. Also, a big thumb’s up for the good service – the staff are very friendly and approachable. It is definitely a good place for a Chinese family or friends gathering.”

Jingyi Wang - Flinders University Master of Accounting
Jingyi Wang – Flinders University Master of Accounting

The celebrations begin the day before New Year, says David. “Spring Festival kicks off on 4 February. We gather at home with friends and family, make lots of good food and watch the traditional Chinese Spring Festival Gala on television.”

Spring Festival will start a little later for Regina Wang, Master of Social Work student, as orientation for her final placement falls on 4 February.

“If there’s no time conflict, I will celebrate with my friends and housemates,” says Regina of her New Year’s plans. But for those not working over New Year, she recommends her favourite restaurants. “Tangritah Uyghur Restaurant in Chinatown or Little China Palace in Somerton Park.”

David Wei - Flinders Business Graduate
David Wei – Flinders Business Graduate

New to town or haven’t made plans yet? No need to worry, says Jingyi, the community in Adelaide is very supportive.

“Chinese people here are very willing to help each other, and the community here can really make every Chinese student feel home and warm.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by David.

“There are just so many things to do. The Chinese community are pretty solid in organising celebrations and events. It’s a real party atmosphere.”

From fireworks, street festivals, feasts and traditional dances – Adelaide will celebrate the Year of the Pig in style. However and wherever you celebrate – the Flinders team wishes you a happy, safe and prosperous New Year!

Like to learn more about studying at Flinders University? Discover how you can go beyond with a Flinders degree and get in touch with us.

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