The Lunar New Year festival is coming to an end although I’ve been very much reminded of it this past weekend.
On Friday night I attended a gala fundraising dinner for the inaugural Vietnamese Museum of Australia (to be located in Footscray) at the Melbourne Town Hall hosted by actor/performer/speaker/comedian Diana Nguyen and with special guest speaker Tamie Fraser AO, widow of ex-Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser who was instrumental in bringing out so many of the Vietnamese diaspora in the 1970s.
My uni friend Mylinh is a volunteer and had organised two tables of friends as guests. We were treated to a number of spectacular lion dance performances during the night including lions all lit up in LED lights, a Welcome to Country by Reconciliation Victoria’s Co-Chair Shane Charles, martial arts, singing and dancing along with the usual suspects of a silent auction and car raffle. It was lovely to see Mylinh’s non-Vietnamese guests fully get into the spirit of the night taking selfies with the lions and the Minister of Multicultural Affairs.
I don’t see my uni friends as often as I’d like but we go back a long way and continue to share a lot of good times as our selfie photos will attest! The end of the Lunar New Year is bookmarked by dragon boat racing today at the Docklands and Melbourne has turned on the weather for the races. Melbourne’s Sea Dragons are competing in the ‘extreme canoeing’ event so may the best team win.
Closer to home the Malahang Lantern Festival is being held in Heidelberg West on Friday 17 March from 5 – 10pm and looks like it will be just as spectacular for all things illuminated and floating or ground-based. If you’re a cyclist it coincides with Route 2@Lantern Festival being held by Reels on Wheels curated night-time bike ride (you will need bike lights to participate and be a competent cyclist).
Things are also hotting up in Alphington with the Alphington Primary School Fair being held next Sunday 26 February from 11am – 5pm in Yarralea Street and the Alphington Show on Saturday 25 March from 11am – 2pm for ‘a little bit of country in the city’ at the Alphington Community Centre at 2 Kelvin Road.
The extended 5-day Moomba Festival is being held on the March Labour Day long weekend in our capital city kicking off the many festivals to come in March and April. I was in the city briefly yesterday and there were lots of people around – it has become the place to both live and be entertained in and two of my current work colleagues who grew up in Singapore and Vietnam now reside right in the heart of town walking distance to our office – no excuses to be late for work!