Chinese New Year in Sydney

The Chinese New year, or Spring Festival as it’s been called since that the 20th century, remains the most important social and economic holiday to China. Originally associated with the lunar Chinese calendar, the holiday was an occasion to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. It was also an occasion to bring households together for great feasts. With the well-liked adoption in China of the Western calendar in 1912, the Chinese joined in celebrating Jan 1 as New Year’s Day. China, however, continues to celebrate the original Chinese Calendar year, although in a new shorter version using a new name–the Spring Festival. Significantly, younger generations of Chinese now take notice of the holiday in a very different manner to their ancestors. For some in the younger generation, the holiday has evolved from a chance to renew family ties to a chance for a pleasurable holiday from work.

The Ancient Chinese Date

The ancient Chinese language calendar, which is what Chinese New Year relies upon, functioned as a religious, dynastic and additionally a social guide. Oracle bones inscribed with astronomical records indicate it existed at least around 14th century N. C., when the Shang Dynasty was in power. The calendar’s composition wasn’t static: It would reset according to which emperor kept power and varied according to location.

The Chinese calendar was an intricate timepiece. Its parameters were set according to the lunar phases along with the solar solstices in addition to equinoxes. Yin in addition to yang, the opposing however complementary principles defining a harmonious planet, also ruled the particular calendar, as did the Chinese zodiac, the cycle regarding twelve stations or “signs” across the apparent path on the sun through the particular cosmos. Each new 12 months was marked through the characteristics of one of the 12 zodiacal creatures: the rat, ox, tiger woods, rabbit, dragon, snake, moose, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
The traditional Chinese New Calendar year

The Chinese New Year period began in the middle of the 12th thirty days and ended around the centre of the first month using the waxing of the complete moon. Observance of the New Year time period was traditionally divided into New Year’s Eve and also the first few days of the new year.

Traditionally for the Chinese, New Year was the most important festival on the calendar. The entire attention on the household was fixed around the celebration. During this time, business life came nearly to a stop. Home and family were the main focuses.

In preparation for the holiday, homes had been thoroughly cleaned to rid them of “huiqi, ” as well as inauspicious breaths, that may have collected throughout the old year. Cleaning was also intended to appease the gods who would be coming lower from heaven to make inspections. Ritual sacrifices regarding food and icons were offered to gods and ancestors and forefathers. People posted scrolls published with lucky communications on household gates and set off firecrackers to daunt evil spirits. Folks gave out cash to children. In truth, many of the particular rites carried out in those times were meant to bring good luck to the household and long life to the family–particularly to the parents.

Most crucial were the great feasts. On New Year’s Eve, the extended household would join around the table for lunch that included as a last course a fish that’s symbolic of abundance and thus not meant to be eaten. In the 1st five days on the New Year, people ate lengthy noodles to symbolize long life. On the fifteenth and final day on the New Year, round dumplings shaped as full moons were shared as a sign of your family unit and regarding perfection.
Evolution of the Spring Festival

The Western-style Gregorian calendar arrived in China with Jesuit missionaries in 1582. It began to be used through out the general population by 1912, and New Year’s Day was officially acknowledged as occurring on Jan 1. Beginning in 1949, under the rule of Chinese Communist Party head Mao Zedong (1893–1976), the government forbade celebration of the traditional Chinese New Year and followed the Gregorian calendar in its dealings with the West. However toward the end of the 20th century, Chinese leaders were more willing to accept the Chinese language tradition. In 1996, China instituted a new week long vacation throughout the holiday–now called Spring Festival–giving people an opportunity to travel home in order to celebrate the new year.

In the first 21st century, many Chinese families spent a substantial amount of their own discretionary income celebrating the particular Spring Festival with traditional symbols in addition to food. They in addition spent time seeing the televised Spring Festival Gala: a good annual variety show featuring traditional in addition to contemporary singers, dancers as well as magic demonstrations. Although the rites of the holiday no longer have religious value, people remained sensitive to the zodiacal animals to the extent that that they considered that, for instance, a year of the rat might mean they would find a personal fortunes or for any child born during this time may grow to become rich.

ACM Group has noted a change in attitude toward the Spring Festival has occurred in China’s younger generation, with Chinese college students reporting that that they prefer surfing the world wide web, sleeping, watching TV or hanging out with friends over celebrating with their household. They also claim to not like conventional New Year food including dumplings and glutinous pastry. With its change of title from Chinese New Year to Spring Festival, for some members on the younger generation the holiday has evolved from a chance to renew family ties to a holiday spent with friends and taking lengthy naps!

 

How will you be spending Chinese New Year in Sydney?

Year of the Monkey 2016

What will the Year of the Monkey hold in store for us in 2016? There will be a lot of innovation, but also trickery in government & business …

Some people say that Chinese astrology is a load of old fishwives tales. But how often is it that you meet someone who is strategic, silent and spiritual, and it turns out they are the Year of the Snake? In fact Chinese astrology is a powerful way to work out the character of people and how they might behave in future circumstances.

As for the years themselves, well this is often open to conjecture.

12 Cool Karaoke Bars in Sydney

 

Karaoke just might be Japan’s greatest export of all time; narrowly pipping the Corolla. Getting up in front of your mates, pissed and holding a microphone, is as close as most of us are ever going to get to pop stardom. The music belts out from the sound system and you desperately try and follow the words in some sort of semblance of timing. Whether you are singing sharp or off key, you and everyone else, have, hopefully, had enough alcohol not to care. This is as good as it gets for a few choice minutes, as the passion takes control and Jimmy Barnes, Kylie or Elvis, assumes the shape of your body. But where are the coolest Karaoke bars in Sydney? We at ACM Group decided to go and check out the karaoke scene and after many an inner rock god was explored we were able to let you know there are 12 of the best:

 

Karaoke World

Basement, 185 Elizabeth Street, Sydney.

Karaoke World was one of the first of its kind in Sydney and is, perhaps, the longest running karaoke bar. Lots of songs, plenty of booze and good food to choose from; what more could you possibly want?

Ding Dong Dang

7 Randle Street, Surry Hills.

Ding Dong Dang, the name says it all really, but this Surry Hills karaoke institution is a buzz. They have themed rooms and all the classic K songs.

Mizuya

614 George Street, Sydney

Mizuya is a very cool place to do karaoke, with up to one hundred and fifty thousand songs available in four different languages. Plus Izakaya style dining and open seven nights.

CEO Karaoke

Basement, 1 Dixon Street, Sydney

CEO Karaoke is as the name suggests a fancy place hoping to attract the bosses of the world. The décor is bold and in your face, but the food is great and there are spacious rooms to cater for groups.

K Square Karaoke Lounge

Shop G4, Capitol Square, 730-732 George Street, Haymarket.

Don’t miss the happy hour at this groovy spot, as it is great value. Yummy Japanese and Korean food, powerful sound systems and great range of songs in four languages.

Lantern By Wagaya

2, 591 George Street, Sydney.

Sensational food and a wonderful karaoke space to perform in. Very classy joint indeed.

Big Echo Karaoke

104 Bathurst Street, Sydney.

Private rooms available, great songs and jugs of mixed drinks makes this a seriously attractive karaoke paradise.

Gangnam Style Karaoke

259 Sussex Street, Sydney.

The name says it all and located above a Korean BBQ joint, it combines all the right elements for a great night out.

Dynasty Karaoke

Level 1, 63 Dixon Street, Haymarket.

Great sound systems and range of songs. Big rooms and great service.

The Pickled Possum

254 Military Road, Neutral Bay.

A great night out in a unique kind of place full of characters. Worth a visit!

Echo Point

262 Pitt Street, Sydney.

This is a classic karaoke joint with ‘that’ carpet and a pumping sound system to get you up and singing. Definitive karaoke experience guaranteed.

Ju Ju

82-94 Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross.

Ju Ju is for the proud and loud karaoke exponent, as there are no private rooms just one big open space. As much restaurant as karaoke joint, it hits its singing straps post 10pm; and hope that your socks are clean because it has a traditional no shoe policy.

Dragon Boat Racing Every Week in Sydney


Every week in Sydney, hundreds of ‘dragon boaties’ are getting on the water and having the time of their lives. This fast and furious sport is taking off in a big way in the Harbour City. Crews are competing throughout the regions of this city and through NSW. Participants are hailing the experience for its fitness factor, social networking, stress releasing, and pure unadulterated fun. In dragon boating it is all about the team, as everyone pulls together to get the job done; getting over that finishing line first.

 

The noise and excitement is paramount, especially on race days. The laughter and whoops of joy echo out across the water, as teams of dragon boats charge forth in a fury of paddling. Clubs are still looking for new members all the time, as the sport continues to grown and capture the interest of Sydneysiders. People are passionate about dragon boat racing, there is no escaping that, and that passion is spreading like wildfire. Families are getting onboard and friends are co-opting other friends to get involved.

Dragon boat racing began in China about two thousand years ago, with roots in the traditional religious practice of appeasing the rain gods. Later on, a great warrior poet killed himself in the river Mi Lo in protest against political corruption and dragon boat racing began as a celebration of his sacrifice. Now, it is a vital part of their culture and symbolises the patriotic teamwork imbued within the nation as a whole. The country paddles together to achieve greatness on the world stage.

Colour is everywhere during the racing events, here in Sydney, with teams wearing matching colours representing their clubs. Regattas are held on Manly Dam, Bayview, Sydney International Regatta Centre, Darling Harbour, Lake Jindabyne, and other regional centres in NSW. Sponsors and partners of Dragon Boats NSW include: Ricoh, Trans Crane, Regatta Sport, NSW Sports Federation, NSW Transport Roads & Maritime, NSW Office of Communities Sport & Recreation, Sydney International Regatta Centre Penrith Lakes and Wholesale Trophies.

Dragon boat clubs, generally, train in the evening during weekdays and compete in the mornings on weekends. For those who are good enough there are opportunities to compete nationally and internationally. For more than twenty years, now, there has been dragon boat racing every week in Sydney. The sport has become part of the Australian outdoor lifestyle; promoting fun and fitness for all.

Inspirational Quotes



ACM Group Sydney

 

In order to develop a certain inner progress the artist’s thing is very much influential and helpful. I mean, helpful as well as harmful.. It depends on the meaning that the artist is conveying.. Now, you see, certain art is made to have an impact on hatred, or anger, such things.. and that is harmful.. In any way, the artists with their art, and with this ritual thing, have powerful means to give a message… – Dalai Lama

As you have been saying this I have been thinking that there are.. I have heard of, two ways of doing paintings.. One is that a person thinks beforehand in thought of what the painting will be.. and then paints it out.. And that would be like the thought approach.. But then there is another one, where the person does not think about it beforehand, but just spontaneously does whatever seems appropriate.. And that would be a thoughtless approach, even throwing paint onto the canvas and so forth, but a work of art coming out. – Dalai Lama
It seems that with the artist, first there is the inner feeling and the thought, and then there is the expression of this in an artistic way.. whereas for the audience there is first the reception of this expression and then a change in thought. – Dalai Lama

Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it. – Confucius

Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make. ~Bruce Lee

It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet. ~ Kojiro Tomita