Well it’s not. Some you you might have heard of Songkran in Thailand. If you haven’t then you really, really should look at the video below. It’s too fun for words.
What’s Songkran? Songkran is a three day festival which celebrates Thai New Year which starts on 13 April 2018. April is the hottest month of the year so not surprisingly water features prominently. But it’s not (just) about getting wet and wild, when Thais throw water at you it’s not because they don’t like you and want to wet your best tourist clothes. The idea is to wash away back luck from the previous year so you can start the new year fresh.
But it’s just not Thais who celebrate new year at this time. Khmer, Lao and Tamil communities celebrate their new year at during this time also.
Where can you celebrate in Sydney?
Leumeah’s Wat Pa Buddharangsee in Sydney’s south west hosts one of the biggest Thai New Year celebrations in Sydney (above), with food stalls, opportunity to make offerings to monks and of course, it all ends with one big water fight – make sure you dress for fun.
Wat Phrayortkeo Dhammayanaram, Edensor Park (above) is where you should go for a delicious Lao new year. The food is soooo good.
If you want to celebrate with Sydney’s Khmer community, why to visit the Wat Khemarangsarm in Bonnyrigg.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s celebrate the New Year all over again.
Just in time to welcome the Year of the Dog, Brenda Leung, Identity Communications Insights and Production Manager writes about New Year gift giving.
Gift giving plays an important role in Asian culture, especially during cultural festivals and special occasions. The Lunar New Year is the perfect time to prepare something special for your loved ones. It is essential to get something heartfelt, and at the same time meaningful with a good will message embedded in the gift. So choosing an appropriate and presentable New Year gift could be a headache; ranging from wines to food and tea, and to suit a variety of tastes for young and old.
Here are some quick ideas for the two most popular gift choices for you to consider.
Traditionally, Chinese and many other Asian cultures believe taking a precautionary approach is the most effective way to maintain good health conditions, and the most common practice to achieve this is through consumption of natural herbs or food with good nutritional values. For this reason, no other gifts can be better than any nourishing and nutritious herbs/food that can benefit one’s health with good nutritional value or natural remedies outcomes, especially if that gift is for the senior member in the family.
To make the process of getting the herb/natural food gifts easier, there are supplements of various brands available in supermarkets and pharmacist’s shops where you can find nutritious herbs and medicines such as various types of vitamins, fish oil, wolfberries, jujube dates, black sesame seeds, ginseng root and royal jelly. They’re stacked on shelves taking up the entire aisle, usually in gift boxes and are ready to give away as gifts. There are always the supplements that are suitable for certain age groups or one for the whole family.
Nowadays, supplements are the “modern form” of the traditional natural herbs and remedies, and can also make fantastic Lunar New Year gifts. They are particularly well received by people living in cities than those in rural areas, who are leading a busy life and are more likely to show others that they are always in the new trend.
For children, red packets with money inside are the most popular gifts during New Year. Who isn’t happy to get additional pocket money? Or for those parents who have long-run plans for the next generation, it is a good time to open a bank account and start the whole financial management journey for their children, with an educational purpose behind the whole idea.
No matter what gifts you are going to present to your family and friends, what’ most important is the loving thoughts – goodwill wishes of happiness, wellness and prosperity.
Money talks! How these brands are cashing in on Chinese New Year.
Even though the Lunar New Year is celebrated by many communities such as Vietnamese and Korean, the sheer size of the Chinese dollar, or should we say Yuan, means many brands conveniently only recognising it as Chinese New Year.
Here are a few examples of brands cashing in on the Lunar New Year in 2018. Come back regularly, we’ll update this post as new campaigns launch.
City of Sydney
While most other Sydney council celebrate Lunar New Year, it’s Chinese New Year for the City of Sydney, which speaks volumes about their the People’s Republic of China’s generous in-kind support of the Festival as well as the abundant investment and business potential.
Chobani Chobani’s Chinese New Year Batch combines mandarin with Greek yogurt decorated with red and gold packaging as symbols of good luck and prosperity which also features a dragon composed from mandarin.
Sydney’s Casino is cashing in (pun intended) with food, competitions and promotions featuring lots of 8’s.
Park your dollar with the ANZ in either a term deposit for 8 months for a special interest rate or open an online savings account for a special rate for the first 8 months.
Woolworths Selected stores are going red and gold for Lunar New Year (Cabramatta store below).
BWS Score 888 Woolworths Reward points if you spend more than $30 at BWS.
World Square Lunar New Year 2018 via augmented reality.
Sydney Tower Eye
All you can eat dumplings as you watch Sydney go by.
Luna Park Between 16-18 February experience lion dances and firecrackers before you go on a hair raising ride.
Lotus Dining We all have to eat right? Restaurants are ready to feed your belly for Lunar New Year.
Online retailers are getting into the act. Camera Electric has specials on Leica camera, lenses and accessories.
What creative should I use for my multicultural campaign?
The answer is easy, and not easy. Identity Communications, the intelligent multicultural agency, has some food for thought…
When it comes to a multicultural marketing campaign, marketers and their agencies rightly devote time and resources to developing the media schedule. When it comes to creative assets, clients think it’s all too hard or costly to develop bespoke in-language creative. Overwhelmingly clients translate their existing ‘mainstream’ creative.
Take for example, Bayer’s Elevit pregnancy multivitamin (below) targeting Chinese-Australian women. The investment on Youku Chinese video social media is significant, just about every pre-roll served this week uses either Elevit or Menevit material. In this case, the audio was left in English with text copy translated into Chinese.
Another example is our recent work for Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena Ultra Sheer (below). The mainstream creative, featuring Jennifer Garner, was subtitled into Chinese.
A much rarer approach is developing bespoke in-language creative, particularly for TV. Reckitt Benckiser’s current campaign for Finish Quantum Ultimate dishwashing tablet (below) was developed and produced by Identity Communications especially for the Chinese-Australian audience. Concept and copy were developed in Chinese and translated to English for client feedback and approval. We sourced and selected local Chinese talent and shoot location. Judging by the comments across video and social media channels, the audience is resonating strongly with this bespoke creative approach.
Of course, it’s not one size fits all. Budget, timing and other factors come in to play in the real world. Here are some considerations that might help you decide:
Budget: if it’s a limited marketing budget, do you really want to spend 80% on creative and 20% on media?
Timing: in-language creative often take longer to produce, sourcing the right talent from a limited pool and translation lead time will add to your timeline
Creative capacity: there isn’t the breadth of creative and production talent compared to mainstream, so this may impact on quality
Collaboration: consider if your current creative agency could work with a cultural consultant during creative concept and development
Face to camera: if it’s just a voiceover, then consider revoicing the commercial
Customise static assets: TV production requires a larger budget, but if you’re doing a print advert which has talent, consider shooting the mainstream material with a mix of talent or shooting talent that’s from that community for your campaign
Product benefit: particularly in the beauty category, a well-known ‘mainstream’ talent may be the aspirational inspiration for this audience, so maybe subtitling is all that’s needed
People like me: then again, if the benefits of a beauty product might be better demonstrated on someone with a skin tone similar to your audience, maybe the ‘mainstream’ talent, especially if they aren’t well known, may not be appropriate
Your brand: if you are a major multinational, and you’re investing a significant budget in media, is there an expectation that you should develop tailored creative for the target community?
Brand sentiment benefits: in a world where creative is almost always translated from mainstream, consider the significant uplift in positive brand sentiment from investing in bespoke creative
We’re experienced in the creative scenarios outlined above. If you have a question about multicultural creative development please contact us.
Where are all the Chinese New Year Festivals in Sydney?
This year, Chinese New Year, Tet, Lunar New Year falls on Friday, 16 February 2018.
While the City of Sydney’s “Chinese New Year” celebrations are the biggest – there are plenty of other festivals around town that also showcases the diverse Asian community in Australia who celebrate Lunar New Year, including Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean.
There are at least 13 celebrations all across Sydney – Parramatta, Cabramatta, Hurstville, Chatswood and more..
Dragon and lion dancing, visits by the god of wealth, art exhibitions, fireworks and of course, lots and lots of food – the video below, from an earlier Lunar New Year Celebration in Hurstville, gives you a sense of the excitement and colour (video credit: noodlies).
Sydney’s 2018 Lunar/Chinese New Year festivals.
Wednesday, 7 Feb 6pm – 7.30pm: Ashfield Town Hall, Uncommon Feast, Lunar New Year 2018, Inner West Council Usher in the Year of the Dog with a special literary event at Ashfield Town Hall. Join celebrated Asian-Australian writers Lachlan Brown, Wai Chim, Eileen Chong, Isabelle Li, and emcee Sheila Ngoc Pham, as they read from and discuss their work including themes of culture, identity and, of course, food. ‘The Uncommon Feast’ is a coming together to showcase writers who have intriguing commonalities and differences. The event will open with a live performance by Eugenia Teng playing the gu zheng (Chinese 26 string zither), and concludes with traditional Chinese tea and snacks, book sales and author signings. Free event, bookings essential.
Saturday, 10 Feb from 10am, Forrest Road, Lunar New Year Festival, Georges River Council With the Council merger the Kogarah and Hurstville festivals have been merged into one large event located in Hurstville. As in previous years, the event will commence at 10.00am and run until 4.00pm with a variety of stalls, activities and community performances on stage. For the first time, we will introduce an evening program at Hurstville which will start with a vibrant street parade on Forest Road and a free night-time concert, including a spectacular stage show with a professional headline performance.
Photo credit: City of Sydney
Saturday, 10 Feb 4pm – 9pm: Saigon Place, Bankstown, Lunar New Year Festival, Canterbury-Bankstown City The annual Lunar New Year Festival will transform Bankstown’s Saigon Place into a colourful centre of entertainment, in celebration of the Year of the Dog. Expect food, cultural exhibits and entertainment, eating competitions, dog tricks and best dressed dog competition, even fashion parades and of course, lion dancing.
Friday, 16 Feb, 4.30pm – 9:30pm: Centenary Square, Parramatta: Lunar New Year in Parramatta, Parramatta City Sit back and enjoy beautiful traditional and contemporary cultural performances from China, Vietnam and South Korea, take part in interactive activities and workshops in Lunar Land, including calligraphy, lantern making, and cooking classes, and enjoy a Lunar feast at one of the many delicious food stalls. The event also features the family friendly Lunar Lounge, Lantern Garden installation, firecracker display, dragon and lion dances, and a fireworks finale at 9pm.
Chang Lai Yuan Chinese Gardens in Nurragingy Reserve will be adorned with colour as we prepare to ring in the Year of the Dog. Grab your family, friends and picnic blanket and join us for an evening of live cultural stage entertainment, food and market stalls, Paw Patrol Kids Show and jumping castle, free kids craft- lantern making, fan decorating, calligraphy, origami, lion dance and fireworks.
Friday, 16 Feb – Sunday 4 Mar: Sydney Chinese New Year Festival, City of Sydney More than 1 million people will flock to 80 spectacular events in Sydney’s Chinese New Year Festival, making it one of the largest Lunar New Year celebrations outside China. Find your zodiac amongst the Lunar Lanterns popping up around the city and join the bustling crowds enjoying the flavours and sights of traditional celebrations in Chinatown. In 2018, Sydney will be illuminated by giant Lunar Lanterns representing the animal signs of the zodiac as we celebrate the Year of the Dog.
Saturdays, 17 Feb, 24 Feb, 3 Mar:Eastwood Plaza, Eastwood Ryde Lunar New Year Celebrations, City of Ryde In 2018, the celebration of Lunar New Year reaches its 10th Anniversary and the organising committee is planning a bigger and better celebration to mark this great milestone! Come along to three major events to celebrate the year of the Dog: Cooking competition is on Saturday 17 Feb from 10am, Lunar New Year Eastwood Night Markets is on Saturday 24 Feb from 4pm and Grand Celebration Day on 3 Mar from 11am.
Saturday, 17 Feb 4pm – 9pm: Dacey Gardens, Kingsford, Lunar New Year, Bayside Council The event is a free family-friendly event featuring music, food, dances, workshops, traditional lion dances and heritage celebrations inspired by Asian and Chinese cultures.
Saturday 17 Feb – Sunday, 4 Mar, Chinese New Year in Darling Harbour Celebrate Chinese New Year in Darling Harbour’s hidden pearl, the Chinese Garden of Friendship. There are over 3 weekends of performances, demonstrations, workshops and tours. Slow down in a tai chi class, or experience acrobatic lion dancing, said to bring you good luck and fortune. Learn the ancient art of laughing from deep down inside or observe a traditional tea ceremony in silence. The kids will be entranced by watercolour painting and taking The Emperor’s Quest around the garden. They can also get creative decorating their own lantern to take home. $6 for adults, $3 children.
Friday, 23 Feb – Sunday 25 Feb, Fairfield Showground, Smithfield Rd, Prairiewood, Tet/Lunar New Year Festival, Vietnamese Community (Adults $7, Children $5) Organised by the Vietnamese Community in Australia (VCA), this is an annual fundraiser for them and the largest Vietnamese celebration in the state, attracting over 60,000 visitors. This is the one to go to if you want to see how the Vietnamese celebrate new year (noodlies video round-up from the 2012 Festival below).
Friday, 23 Feb, 3.30pm – 6pm: Lane Cove Plaza, Lunar New Year in Lane Cove, Lane Cove Council Help bring in the Year of the Dog at this special Lunar New Year celebration. The event will include a host of live entertainment and activities including a Chinese lion dance, Japanese calligraphy performance, live music, creative workshops and more. Children will also receive their own lai see (lucky red envelope) for good luck.
Saturday 24 Feb, 10am – 5pm: Chatswood Mall, Chatswood Chinese New Year Festival, Willoughby Council Chatswood’s Chinese New Year Celebrations will be held on Saturday 24 February 2018 in Chatswood Mall and The Concourse to celebrate the Year of the Dog. This year’s entertainment program includes the traditional and very popular Lion and Dragon Dances, Chinese Kung Fu, magic show, acrobatics, folk dances and much more. The official opening will be held at 11am in Chatswood Mall. More than 30 specialty stalls selling Chinese products and food, information and services in Chatswood Mall and The Concourse offering great retail and promotional gifts.
Saturday, 3 Mar – Sunday 5 Mar, 9am – 4pm: Cabramatta Freedom Plaza, Lunar New Year Festival, Fairfield Council A lower-key event compared to the Council’s huge Moon Festival, this one has a Vietnamese flavour. The cultural festivities, held in the Cabramatta CBD, will feature the God of Fortune, Lion Dancing and loads of exciting entertainment for the whole family.
The Identity Communications team wishes you all a happy, healthy and prosperous Year of the Dog.
PS. If you know of any other Festivals in Sydney, let us know!