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Chinese New Year 2016

Alya Omar Out and about

If it’s one thing I really miss from home, it’s the yearly Chinese New Year celebrations.

In Malaysia, Chinese New Year means that school’s out (kinda like the Christmas/Easter Holidays here), but of course that isn’t the case here. Usually I’d be sitting in class during the day, weeping inside at the thought of all the inevitable food photos that’ll be sent to me.

So, it was a pleasant change to attend the Chinese New Year celebrations in Newcastle’s Chinatown. I don’t know why the thought of going never really occurred to me before, but here we were, on Valentine’s Day, waiting in the blistering cold for the event to start. I was really looking forward to the Lion Dance, and I must say that I wasn’t disappointed at all when they finally performed. It reminded me of my childhood, and how I always, always looked forward to seeing the dance whenever I could. Plus, one such as me could only dream about being that dexterous!

The streets were continuously packed with people, and there was the occasional traffic jam because the lion was going into the shops along the street to bring in prosperity. The restaurants themselves were full, being filled with families and couples. There were also small stalls lined up along Chinatown, selling trinkets here and there that would definitely appeal to the younger audience.

You don’t have to worry about missing out on the New Year festivities just because you’re far away from the celebrations. Being a diverse (not to mention relaxed!) city with vibrant inhabitants, Newcastle is the perfect place for a home away from home.

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