8 February 2024

Celebrate a Lunar New Year holiday to keep those evil spirits at bay

| Rama Gaind
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Chinese lion dancing

Lunar New Year 2024 is all about ushering in good luck and prosperity with family in Australia. Photos: Supplied.

Turn to a fresh chapter, change the old to new! In 2024, the Lunar New Year will start on Saturday, 10 February, and mark the Year of the Dragon, according to the Chinese zodiac. It’s all about ushering in good luck and prosperity.

Whether you mark the occasion in Australia or overseas, it’s said to be a time of possibilities and opportunities. Celebrated by more than 1.5 billion people each year, the festival is rich in tradition and meaning, varying from culture to culture, and is known by different names in various countries. In China, it is called Chun Jie, is identified as Tet in Vietnam, Seollal in Korea and Losar in Tibet.

In Sydney, particularly, celebrations each year seem to get bigger — and are said to be one of the largest outside Asia. Think street parades, lion dancing, huge lanterns, pop-up markets, live entertainment, art installations and plenty of delicious food.

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Set to bring joy and happiness, preparations include cleaning and decorating homes with red symbols of luck because of their traditional associations with happiness, good fortune, wealth and auspiciousness. The color red (along with loud noise and fire) is also believed to denote success and energy and is said to be instrumental in warding off evil spirits and negativity. Families gather for reunion dinners featuring traditional dishes. Ancestors are honoured.

Popular is the season of red envelopes filled with cash — known as Ya Sui Qian or ”lucky money” — which are given to children by older relatives. Then there’s the opportunity to spruce up our wardrobes and buy new clothes. Of course, the best part is eating traditional food including longevity noodles, a whole steamed fish for abundance, sticky rice balls for togetherness, dumplings, rice cakes and oranges (regarded as a good-fortune fruit).

Vietnamese fishing site

Travellers can experience daily life in an authentic Vietnamese fishing community at Azerai Ke Ga Bay.

Tied to the lunar calendar, reflections are predominant of the wonderful few days spent on Vietnam’s stunning southeast coast last year. It was not difficult to immerse ourselves in the heart and soul of this destination with a series of activities, from exhilarating sports to cultural classes, plus an amazing array of culinary occasions for all ages.

If you are a beach lover, then head to Azerai Ke Ga Bay, just over two hours from Ho Chi Minh City via a new expressway, that sets the stage for enchanting cultural experiences. Nestled in 4.5 hectares of tropical gardens, just steps from a five-kilometre-long sandy shore and overlooking the iconic Ke Ga Lighthouse, this boutique beach resort has crafted a choice of engaging activities for anyone who wants to feel energised or simply needs to unwind. Experience daily life in an authentic local fishing community.

Take the time to feel the ocean spray. Tet is an inspiring time of year at Azerai Ke Ga Bay, where the spectacular beach and shimmering sea set the stage for world-class water sports. Choose from body boarding, windsurfing, kayaking and more, with complimentary classes available for adults and children alike.

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The warm ocean breeze here is not only great for water sports, but also creates the ideal conditions for kite-flying on the beach. A fun activity for parents and children to share.

Experience beachfront yoga with the whole family. Discover this spiritual activity to help revitalise the body, mind and soul.

tourist resort

Nestled on a private islet in the lush Mekong Delta, Azerai Can Tho will be a haven of relaxation this Lunar New Year.

Azerai Ke Ga Bay is one of three resorts under the Azerai brand which, along with Can Tho (the enchanting natural retreat nestled on an islet in the Mekong Delta) and La Residence, Hue (restored Art Deco-style mansion on the banks of the Perfume River) will welcome the Year of the Dragon in style this year with many specific activities and dining experiences.

May good luck and fortune fall upon us all in 2024!

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