Chinese New Year: Feast of fortune is their hope
Since all their extended family live in HongKong,
their focus is to spend it together.
Cheuk and Queeny Tammigrated to Australia 21
years ago, passing on their traditional customs to their
sons Nelvin, 20, Calvin, 18 and Gavin, 16.
‘‘When my brothers and I went to Chinese school we
would hear ancient stories and receive fake money,’’
‘‘At home,we always talk [by phone] to our relatives
overseas, chant traditional phrases, and receive red
envelopes with real money from our parents.’’
The Chinese New Year is on the first day of the first
month in the lunar calendar, this year on February 3.
Before their holiday begins, the Chinese like to make
way for good luck by following customs, including
cleaning up the house and feasting with families.
In the Tamhousehold, Queeny cooks the family
dinner to be eaten on New Year’s Eve followed by
plenty of sweets.
‘‘It is a really big meal that includes prawns to
symbolise a happy new year and candy for good
‘‘We chant phrases during dinner using the Chinese
zodiac to wish each other the best of luck and a
prosperous new year.’’
For Cheuk Tam, working as a Qantas aircraft
engineer means sometimes he can’t have the day off to
spend with the family.
But if that is the case, his workmates are always in
for a treat.
‘‘I bring in a box of sweets to share if I have to work,’’
he said. ‘‘We can spend up to four days celebrating the
new year, but if I have to go to work