Launceston’s Tsing Wah Asian Grocers celebrated the Lunar New Year in style on Saturday.
Roaring through a crowd of onlookers were two Chinese dragons that performed a traditional dance accompanied by pounding drumbeats.
Tsing Wah owner Anthony Kwong said the day was a great success despite intermittent rain during the ceremony.
“It’s great, I love celebrating with the local community,” he said.
“I want to give back, without us getting the community involved it’s not going to be a Lunar New Year, there’s not going to be enough celebration.
“Without the community there is nothing, without our customers there is nothing, without anyone there is nothing.
“We are one of the biggest regional towns in Australia and we want to be celebrating in style.”
The Lunar or Chinese New Year officially started Tuesday February 5 and celebrations will continue throughout the month.
Of the 12 animal zodiac signs represented each Lunar year, 2019 is the year of the pig.
“The year of the pig means something different for everyone based on their animal,” Mr Kwong said.
“Being the year of pig or the dog you have to be careful because your own star is clashing against yourself.
“There is danger in place a little bit.”
Mr Kwong said while the Chinese population in Launceston isn’t big, a large portion of the wider Asian community is also celebrating the new year.
“We call it the Lunar New Year that is involving most of Asia and southeast Asia,” he said.
“It excludes places like Japan and Thailand, but most other places are involved.”
The day also featured the annual sushi eating competition and the traditional Bai San, which is a ceremonial praying to the gods.
Mr Kwong said there were numerous superstitions during the holiday, such as not cutting your hair or sweeping the floor.
“You should be doing that all before [Lunar New Year],” he said.
“If something is unlucky on the first day it might carry on so therefore you don’t break anything or drop chopsticks on the floor.”
Mr Kwong said he hopes to get enough support to make next year’s celebrations bigger than ever.
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