Celebrating Chinese New Year in Adelaide

Happy Lunar New Year Flinders

Chinese New Year celebrations are being planned 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 2020 marking the Year of the Rat. 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 current students and graduates to discover how they plan to celebrate.

“The Chinatown Street Party is definitely a must go, you can celebrate the Lunar New Year with your friends and find various kinds of local food from your hometown in China,” say Alice Chen, a Flinders Master of Social Work graduate. ” There will be cultural performance throughout the day as well.”

A much-loved annual affair – this year marks the 17th 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 graduate, 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

“My plan for New Year’s Day is celebrating with my friends at home,” says Alice. “We will make dumplings and order delivery for lunch, then – gaming time.” A current Adelaide resident, it’s important for her to celebrate. “My friends in Adelaide are a kind of family for me, I look forward to this time.”

“If there’s no time conflict, I will celebrate with my friends and housemates,” says Regina Wang, a Master of Social Work student, of her New Year’s plans. Regina recommends her favourite restaurants, “Tangritah Uyghur Restaurant in Chinatown or Little China Palace in Somerton Park.”

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. 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.”

It is a sentiment echoed by Flinders Master of Business Administration student, Junfang Hu.

“I would say that Adelaide is a home from home,” says Junfang. “You will find everything you need her to ease any homesickness at Chinese New Year. I have found Flinders Uni has the best international community that is very inclusive.”

Junfang and Sajana - Flinders Business Students
Junfang and Sajana

Alice recommends searching for the Chinese Student Association on Wechat. In particular she says to look for the StudyAdelaide Chinese student account, “…then you can start talking in the group chat and join the big family while studying in Adelaide!”

From fireworks, street festivals, feasts and traditional dances – Adelaide will celebrate the Year of the Rat 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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