Lunar New Year's festivities celebrating the Year of the Rabbit (2011) were recently held at UTAS Accommodation Services in Hobart.
Almost 50 people attended a Lunar New Year's Eve function at Pepperz Café Bar Restaurant. Guests included Accommodation Services residents, UTAS Community Friends and Networks Program supporters and members of the public.
The magnificent Golden Tree with traditional red lanterns, together with the abundant red and gold room decorations, set the scene for the 'Year of the Rabbit' festivities. Entertainment was provided by way of music, dance, storytelling and games, as party-goers welcomed in the Lunar New Year in style.
But one of the best things about the Lunar New Year is that the fun doesn't stop after the New Year's Eve celebrations. The Lunar New Year celebrations traditionally run from Day 1 – Day 15 of the Lunar Calendar.
So the festivities continued, with Pepperz holding a huge banquet on 17 February, to mark the end of the Lunar New Year celebrations. The Asian-style banquet, prepared by Pepperz' International Chef Kin, was well received and guests entertained with singing and dancing performances. Contributions were made by many, with desserts, prizes and traditional "red packets" sponsored by the Malaysian Society. A large quantity of meal discount vouchers were generously donated by The Bay Hotel in Sandy Bay.
New Year festivities and customs vary between countries and regions. Celebrating the new year under the banner of "Lunar New Year" encompassed the individual traditions and celebrations of the many nationalities of students who attended.
Accommodation Services resident, Jason Lee, attended the festivities and said the celebrations were "amazing." "The Lunar new year is significant as families all around the world gather together for a big reunion dinner. "In Malaysia, my family and I would wear red, visit our relatives, watch a lion dance performance and much more," he said.
"The event was amazing- we expected 100 guests but 150arrived. Everyone had fun getting to know their 'animal' (–there are 12 animals in total representing each year of the lunar calendar). "Besides the tasty Asian food, we learned a lot about different cultures during the event."
Special thanks go to the many staff, residents, students and community members who joined together towards this special cultural event.
Accommodation Services is already looking forward to celebrating the Lunar New Year 2012 – Year of the Dragon. If you would like to be involved, please contact Jacqueline.Firth@utas.edu.au