HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR – Sydney style

The lion (or was it a dragon?) was primed and ready to go.

The lion (or was it a dragon?) was primed and ready to go.

It was a happy, fortunate and propitious start to the Lunar New Year.

One of my well grooved bike ride routes takes me along the Cooks River to the cafe in Sydney’s Bicentennial Park and back.

On the way it passes through the suburb of Flemington, which yesterday was having a cracking good time. I happened to arrive just as the Jin Wu Koon Dragon and Lion Dance Association was expelling evil spirits from the Saigon BBQ and Pho Vietnamese Restaurant, apparently in return for gifts of lettuce hung from the awnings.

Flemington shopping strip. Nothing special, except today.

Flemington shopping strip. Nothing special, except today.

It began with many sounding gongs and clanging cymbals.

It began with many sounding gongs and clanging cymbals…


With fun for young and old.

…with fun for young and old.

Community events like this, in their modest way celebrating the diversity of life in Sydney, make me happy to be living in one of the world’s melting pot cities. We expect to see celebrations in Chinatown and also in the Vietnamese hotspot Cabramatta, but in Flemington? It’s a nondescript suburban area, albeit with a predominantly South-East Asian population.

Flemington’s principal attraction is Paddy’s Market, the wholesale fruit and vegetable outlet that I’m pleased to assume (from the logos on their uniforms) sponsored the performance group.

It's not the most prestigious job to be the back end of the lion, I presume.

It’s probably not the most prestigious job to be the back end of the lion, but you have to start somewhere.

The beasts were invited inside to bless the seafood in the Flemington Fish Market.

The beasts were invited inside to bless the seafood in the Flemington Fish Market.

And we were all advised to stand well back when the fireworks started.

And we were all advised to stand well back when the fireworks started.

Well done, Jin Wu Koon! You’ve ensured a year’s prosperity for Saigon Restaurant, Happy Chopsticks Chinese Restaurant, Happy House BBQ, Flemington Fish Market and a number of other no doubt worthy institutions.

I’ll be back to try their food before too long.

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