Fiery start to 2012


Communities around the world have celebrated the arrival of the auspicious Chinese Lunar New Year of the Dragon with lavish parades, fireworks and celebrations. Symbolic of power, dominance and ambition, the dragon is considered the luckiest of the 12 animals.



The Dragon is the only mythical beast represented in the 12-animal Chinese  Zodiac and is symbolic of power, dominance and ambition. It is considered the luckiest of the 12 animals.

China is bracing itself for a baby boom as birth rates are expected to double in some parts of China as parents rush to have a baby born in the Zodiac’s most auspicious year.

In 2000, the last Year of the Dragon, more than 36 million babies were born in China – twice as many as in 1999 and 2001.

The Dragon babies, despite their purported luck will face ongoing struggles from the day they are born – beginning with an anticipated shortage of maternity beds across the country to competing for placements at kindergarten, school and university.

China’s Chongqing Daily reported that nearly all of the city’s highly qualified child carers had been booked through to July. The nannies monthly salaries are set to increase 10 percent to almost 6000 per month.

ABF media

Chinese state media also reported a surge in temple goers during the Chinese New Year period.

Chinese tradition stipulates good fortune to those who burn incense sticks on the first and 15th day of every lunar month, especially the first of the year.

Temple visits dramatically increase on these days. Beijing’s Tibetan Buddhist monastery Yonghegong (Lama Temple) received about 66,700 visitors on Jan 23, the eve of the Chinese New Year.

Sydney breathes fire into year of the dragon

The City of Sydney hosted its annual Twilight Parade on January 29 to welcome in the auspicious Chinese Year of the Dragon.


Thousands of spectators packed the streets of Sydney as 3000 performers wound their way from the city’s town hall to Chinatown. A nine-metre long dragon float was the centerpiece of this year’s parade.

city_of_sydney_twilight_parade_dragon_webMore than 3,000 local and international performers took part in this year’s event, including 135 artists from Chengdu – showing off their stunning Panda Puppets, Fire Dragons and ethnic dancers. A unique mix of dynamic live music, amazing floats, flamboyant dragons, dazzling costumes and illuminated zodiac lanterns were highlighted against a background of light projections along the parade route.

Pictured left: Celebrating Chinese New Year in Sydney (courtesy, City of Sydney)

The event, which takes organizers a year to prepare for and costs more than A$1 Million to run, this year incorporated fiery floats, martial arts demonstrations, circus performers, Chinese musicians, ballroom dancers, live art installations and visiting groups from Beijing, Shanghai, Anhui and Xian.

Melbourne Airport celebrates Chinese New Year

Melbourne Airport has again celebrated Chinese New Year by welcoming Chinese tourists with lion dancing performances, celebratory banners, lanterns, public address announcements and promotional retail offers.

The airport began implementing an international visitor strategy several years ago focusing on making international visitors feel welcomed and respected when arriving at Melbourne Airport.

“As part of the strategy, we recognise the diverse cultures of those people who travel to Melbourne by celebrating culturally significant days such as Chinese New Year,” said Melbourne Airport CEO, Chris Woodruff.

“Chinese New Year is one of the most celebrated dates in the Chinese culture and 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, one of the most revered and significant Chinese zodiacs.”melbourne_airport_chinese_new_year_lion_with_rose_from_iss_security_web

Chinese visitors continue to make a significant contribution to tourism in Victoria. In 2011, Chinese passport holders increased by 23.2 percent or an additional 80,604 on 2010 to total 427,679 visitors.

Pictured right: Chinese New Year Lion with Rose from Melbourne Airport’s ISS Security.

“Our three Chinese airlines, Air China, China Eastern and China Southern, have all recognised the strength of the Melbourne market as well as our key operational and cost advantages, with all three increasing to daily direct services late last year, providing more capacity between Melbourne and China than ever before.”

Cathay Pacific also services the China market from Melbourne with triple‐daily services via Hong Kong. 



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