Cunning as…

Gong Hei Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year and welcome to the Year of the Golden Rat – the start of a whole new 60-year cycle in Chinese astrology. If you’re interested in finding out how the rat became the first sign – you can read on for more about the Chinese Zodiac.

The rat symbolises wisdom and new beginnings and after the apocalyptic weather we have had with bushfires, smoke, rain, hail and dust – I am happy to start the year all over again. I have a number of rats in my immediate and extended family as well as many friends who share the same Eastern star sign so good luck to you all this year.

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Melbourne Chinatown Chinese New Year action from my family spy 🙂

It’s a busy Australia Day long weekend but if you’re in Melbourne, it’s always great visiting Chinatown (but also always hot so take a hat, water and sunscreen). Locally, Preston Market is also holding celebrations this weekend and Box Hill next Saturday 1 Feburary. I was in the city briefly at the top end of town yesterday ducking into The European for a quick coffee and bombolini where Mr Rosanna and I spied adversing mogul Harold Mitchell as we were leaving. There were lots of happy people walking around in the sun, including this funky Melbourne couple (below).

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If you miss local celebrations, I can also highly recommend visiting the glorious Bendigo Easter Festival in April which also features dragon, lion and Chinese youth society performances in their night-time and day-time parade, as well as visiting the Golden Dragon Chinese Museum.

I also wanted to mention the Asia TOPA Double Delicious event at the Abbotsford Convent from 27 February featuring Chinese writer Benjamin Law and food legend Elizabeth Chong (whose daughter Angie runs The Humble Dumpling cooking school in Fairfield) amongst others. Tickets are now on sale.

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Image via The Society inc.

Finally, while Chinese egg roll biscuits are traditionally eaten at Chinese New year, I do love a fortune cookie and I have bought some of these beautiful porcelain fortune cookies from Australian stylist Sibella Court’s retail store The Society inc. for a number of close friends as special keepsakes.

Whether you’re at the tennis, at the beach or having a staycation like me, have a great weekend – it’s been a shock to the system returning to work and I suspect an even bigger shock in in store with school back next week!