Locals celebrate Chinese New Year

LUCK AND PROSPERITY: Kian, Remi and Ivy celebrate Chinese New Year at Tia's Cafe Co. Picture: MELANIE RILEY.

Melanie Riley

GONG Xi Fa Cai! Happy Chinese New Year for 2024.

Chinese New Year this year is the Year of the Dragon, which comes once every 12 years according to the Chinese zodiac.

Traditionally celebrated for 15 days, the festivities this year will start from Saturday February 10.

Chinese New Year celebrations include gathering with loved ones, enjoying traditional Chinese dishes, decorating with red, watching dragon and lion dances and giving red packets (hong baos) of money.

Wearing red for the celebrations is usually worn for good luck and prosperity.

Ivy is the owner of Tia’s Cafe Co, and said their plans as a family is to have a steamboat dinner to celebrate the new year.

Ivy said having lived away from home in Malaysia for more than eight years now, she has missed out on traditional celebrations at home.

These celebrations for Ivy and her family would usually include a reunion dinner with family and friends, visiting temples, seeing fireworks and exchanging red packets to bring in the new year.

Reading each person’s Chinese zodiac sign predictions to see what the new year has in store for everybody is also a traditional part of the new year celebrations.

This year, her and her family will be celebrating with a steamboat dinner.

She is excited to be able to celebrate this year, and to include all of her loyal customers.

“We can celebrate with the customers, that way the customers can also have fun with us. We can have fun together,” she said.

“We want to share Chinese culture.”

Kian said it is important to their family to be able to share these traditions with the local community.

“We are from Malaysia and we do these Chinese New Year traditions every year, and since we sell Asian food, we thought we would keep that tradition,” he said.

“We can celebrate together, and experience the Chinese New Year together.”

There are many superstitions associated with the holiday, including making sure the floor isn’t swept on the first day.

“On the first day, traditionally you shouldn’t clean, because if you do, it’s like you are cleaning away all of the luck,” Kian said.

Ivy and son Kian are not only celebrating at home, but are extending their celebrations into the cafe.

Kian said Chinese New Year is a time where everyone can get together with family and celebrate together.

“Everyone wishes everybody luck for the new year, and we all celebrate as one,” he said.

The cafe will be joining in the festivities and giving out red packets with each purchase containing a special gift.

“We want to bring the joy to share with the customer to celebrate as well,” Kian said.

Visit Ivy and the team at Tia’s to learn more about Chinese New Year and join in the celebrations.