Fairfield City Open Libraries: Heritage Blog

Lunar New Year in Cabramatta

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The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is marked by the lunisolar Chinese calendar and the date of each new year varies from year to year. The festivities usually begins days before the New Year and culminates on the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the new year.

Each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of 12 animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 blocks (or houses) just like its western counterpart. The major difference being that each house has a time-length of one year instead of one month.

This year marks the start of the Year of the Monkey, the ninth animal in the cycle. The next cycle in the Year of the Monkey will be in 2028. The 2016 Chinese New Year Day falls on February 8, 2016. This day coincides with a new moon day and is the first day of the first Chinese lunar month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar system.

The Year 2016 will become the 4713th Chinese year. The Chinese believe that the first king of China was the Yellow King (he was not the first emperor of China). The Yellow King became king in 2697 B.C., therefore China will enter the 4713th year on February 8, 2016.

Lunar (1)

History & development of Cabramatta :

Cabramatta is Australia’s most multicultural postcode. Nearly three quarters (70%) of the population was born overseas, and 8 out of 10 Cabramatta residents speak more than one language. The story of Cabramatta reflects the traditional owners of the land, changing migration patterns to Australia and the many layers of local history.

Cabramatta’s first white settlers were Irish political prisoners who were amongst the first emancipated convicts to be given land grants to provide food for the struggling colony. For many years Cabramatta was known chiefly for agriculture and its early settlers worked on farms and dairies. The area was very isolated and relied on its neighbour Liverpool for supplies and the maintenance of law and order.

By 1870 Cabramatta was becoming well established and a train station was built. The Cabramatta Hotel, shops, a school and post office soon followed. However, the area remained fairly isolated, and in the early nineteen hundreds train travellers still knew Cabramatta as the ‘town hall in the bush’.

Following the Second World War immigrants from Britain were housed in spartan wood and metal huts at the Cabramatta Settlement Centre. This was the beginning of Cabramatta’s recent history as a centre for newly arrived migrants and refugees. After leaving the hostels many people settled in the local area,
support services were developed and the many communities contributed to the continuing development of the area.

Today Cabramatta’s Central Business District (CBD) particularly reflects the arrival of refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the late 1970s. Among the 109 nationalities represented, Vietnamese-born Australians have been prominent in developing the vibrant commercial centre of the suburb.

To discover the rich cultural heritage of Fairfield City and visit Cabramatta’s famous fabric, tea, herbal medicine and jewellery shops or to sample some delicious Asian cuisine at the local restaurants contact  Fairfield City Council. We offer groups interested in exploring the vibrant, colourful and buzzing town centre of Cabramatta the option of booking either a presentation or a tour.

Cultural Tour format:

  1. Library presentation
  2. ½ hour DVD – The Life and Times of Fairfield City
  3. ½ hour talk and discussion

Tour format:

  1. Guided tours (Feb –Jun)
  2. Self guided tour
  3. Self guided temple visit

(The presentations and tours can be delivered independent of each other). The Cultural Tours are open to groups (minimum 10 people) within or outside of Fairfield City.

For more information, please visit the Heritage section of the library.


[Source: http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/2016.htm%5D


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