The Bundaberg Botanic Gardens will be transformed into a showcasing of culture, colour and festivity when Lunar New Year celebrations take place this month.
From 2 pm to 5 pm on Sunday 22 January Bundaberg Regional Council is inviting the community to come together to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with a range of traditional activities and performances.
Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the event was rebranded from Chinese New Year in 2022 to foster a greater understanding of the importance of the celebration across the Asian Pacific region.
“Lunar New Year is the beginning of a calendar year whose months are moon cycles, based on the lunar calendar or lunisolar calendar,” he said.
“This established and popular event aims to celebrate and promote understanding of the cultures and traditions of the Asian community, with the wider community marking the start of a new Lunar Year cycle.”
The Bundaberg event will feature traditional lion and dragon dancing accompanied by drums and cymbals, Chinese calligraphy workshops, Japanese origami and Chinese paper cutting workshops, a mahjong demonstration and more.
A meet and great with Peter Rabbit will also be a feature of the Lunar New Year celebrations.
Organisations engaged in the planning of the event include the Bundaberg and District Neighbourhood Centre.
The centre's settlement coordinator Maggie Xu said being involved in the Lunar New Year celebration was an exciting opportunity.
“The neighbourhood centre is the multicultural hub in the Bundaberg Region, we work a lot with the community,” she said.
“To be involved in this cultural event is not just part of our job, it is an honour.
“The Lunar New Year celebration is a great opportunity to showcase the multiculturism in our region and the harmonious community we live in.
“It is also a great opportunity for everyone in Bundaberg to enjoy, experience and understand other cultures and a chance for our multicultural community to showcase their performances, food and more.”
Cr Learmonth said the family-friendly celebration would feature something for everyone to enjoy.
“Lunar New Year offers everyone an opportunity to participate in social connectedness – recognising different cultures and exploring knowledge, beliefs and practices,” he said.
“The whole community is invited to come along and celebrate in what will be a fantastic day out.”
About Lunar New Year
According to Britannica, Lunar New Year begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon, 15 days later.
The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, so the dates of the holiday vary slightly from year to year, beginning some time between January 21 and February 20.
Approximately 10 days before the beginning of the new lunar year, houses are thoroughly cleaned to remove any bad luck that might be lingering inside, a custom called “sweeping of the grounds.”
Bundaberg Regional Council was awarded $8,000 for the 2023 Bundaberg Lunar New Year celebrations through the State Government's Celebrating Multicultural Queensland funding round.