Chúc mừng năm mới
That’s Happy New Year in Vietnamese. The Lunar festival is two weeks away which falls on February 10th, the Year of the Snake. The festival started early in Melbourne with the ethnic Vietnamese communities in Richmond. The popular and famous street festival ushers the snake year today on Sunday 27th January to coincide with the long weekend of Australia Day.
Richmond has a large ethnic Vietnamese-Chinese community, a suburb 3km east of Melbourne CBD. The area is rapidly changing with young professionals moving in and new apartment complexes being built pushing up the property prices in the area. The nice thing is that a small section of Victoria Street in Richmond is still the same as I can remember with the Vietnamese and Chinese grocery stores, fresh seafood and meat shops, and the many Vietnamese noodle shops – “pho”.
I went to this street festival last year for the Year of the Dragon. I still remember it was great fun and sample a few of the street food. This year was no difference. There were more street stalls – food and games, and cultural and traditional Vietnamese performances, including the best and most exciting lion dances – pairing of eight lion dancers – I have ever seen in my life time. And, the strings of firecrackers were explosives!