Celebrating Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is always a time of good fortune for Chinese people. The celebration lasts for fifteen days, and is full of family time, delicious food and harmony. Unlike Christmas or Easter, that remembers the birth and death of our saviour, Chinese New Year has a fictitious story behind the celebration, of a difficult time when the Chinese people fought against the monster 'Nian.'

According to legend, a long time ago there lived a horrific monster named Nian, whose name means 'year'. Nian was a giant monster with sharp teeth and claws, and most of the time he lived in the wilderness. Legend tells that in the darkest night of the year when the new moon was in the sky, Nian would sneak into the village and attack everything in sight, and villagers dreaded the new moon for many years. Until one day, when a wise man taught villagers three things Nian was afraid of - loud sounds, fire, and the colour red. Since then, when the new moon was in the sky, villagers lit firecrackers, hit drums, and hung lanterns in front of the village, and Nian ran away and never returned.
Nowadays, Chinese New Year is the festival where families gather together to reflect on the past year and greet the new year. Typical Chinese New Year food includes dumplings, shrimp, and noodles, as these symbolise reunion, happiness, and health.

On Sunday, 17 February, the Hillcrest International department held a dinner at Asian Court restaurant for the international students to celebrate Chinese New Year. It was such a memorable evening as students and staff spent time together and enjoyed delicious food. Each student received a traditional Chinese red pack with chocolate coins and a quote card inside. It was great opportunity for the cohort to learn about more about each other, share a different cultural experience, and build stronger friendships within the international community. After the dinner, the group farewelled Mr Vince Wakefield, and thanked him for his contribution to the international department, as he prepared to leave for his new role on the Sunshine Coast.

Adapted from articles written by Anna Li and Mike Yang (Hillcrest International Captains)

The Hillcrest Chinese New Year dinner is an excellent start to this year as we encourage each other to unite as one with support, care and love.
Anna Li, International Student