Monday, February 02, 2009

Celebrating Chinese New Year in Melbourne

This year (2009) is a significant year for me, because i was born in the year of the Ox. This is my 3rd time celebrating CNY on the year of the ox, other than the first one when I was in Primary 6.

I made a conscious decision to celebrate CNY in Melbourne, which I've never regretted because the way how its celebrated here is lightyears away compared to back home. The Melbourne Chinese societies organise this event in the city annually. Its awesome!

Some people may beg to differ, simply because they celebrate CNY in Melbourne almost every year since they've migrated here. Oh come on... give me a break, okay? its my 1st cny away from home, and i've never seen a celebration this big before, despite the economic crisis going on.

imagine 8 lions heading towards you down the lane. i've never seen so many lions converging in one place before.

the obligatory dragon dance by CYSM (Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne)

this is my best shot of the dragon head so far. I got a little nervous after looking at its eyes for some time. Its scary

4 lions mounted themselves on the platforms right before the firecrackers were let off.

if you think kuching is notorious for firecrackers, wait tilll you hear this. I was a good 5 meters away from the firecrackers, and my eardrums almost exploded with the sheer magnitude of the fire crackers (because I didn't have ear protectors, and also because I was trying to get this shot of the final explosion of the crackers, which is the loudest.

I can't bare to imagine how the performers are able to stand this noise, even though they're wearing ear protectors. They're barely 1 meter away from the source of the firecrackers

it was a really hot, despite not being as hot (43 degrees) as last week. Spotted this guy with a 510 and 14-54.

when you thought everything was over, this huge ass dragon made its way down the street. i swear its head is as large as a small van!

if you don't already know, chinese lions are vegetarian - thats why they are offered lettuce/ spring onions as shown here.

why is this, you may ask? well last time the lion was a cheeky animal always up to no good, and the heavenly king sent buddha to stop this nonsense.

buddha managed to tame the lion by tying a red ribbon around its horn, and since then both the lion and buddha are inseperable. since buddha is a vegetarion, the lion has to be one too; otherwise he won't be alive for very long!

your typical chinese grandma who has just gone shopping and is sitting down for a rest, eating some chinese cake

see.. i've sacrificed my ears once more again, to get this shot of the firecrackers.

one of the CYSM girls with her sunnies on. i think she looks cool

this just shows firecrackers are loud.. and not very nice to smell

it seems foreign to me that chinese are big fans of satay. i haven't seen this before back home.

i sense a lion stalking me

no matter what the occasion, chinese traders are always on the lookout for money. and cny gives them even more reason to do so.

large restaurants down Little Bourke have the cash to spare a more 'exciting' performance compared to their smaller competitors. the more lavish the show, the more luck, i suppose.
the head waitress assists in the preparation of the large firecrackers.

CYSM members race up and down the street for business

We made a 2nd trip to Crown, this time with a larger group of people.

the cow obviously thinks M's bag is a worthy treat to behold

A doesn't mind holding a live chicken

For M, its a different matter (although you can't really see it here)

How are you doing today, mrs sheep?

designing your hats..

.. and wearing them

J and I stayed for another round of performances by the CYSM. they swung the dragon so close to the audience, you could've almost touched it

big drums performance. not very authentic i reckon, but its pretty impressive.

I've posted full albums here and here if you'd like to view them.

On a second note, 23 February marks the 1st anniversary of my SLR experience with Olympus, starting with my 510. The journey has been long, hard and painful (sometimes), but there's still lots more to go.




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