BSSC’s language centre was transformed into a party venue on Sunday 7 February to herald the Chinese New Year’s. Our international students and staff came together to share their home cooked cuisine and celebrate the start of the Chinese spring festival.

In China, New Year is celebrated on the lunar New Year with a 15-day festival when relatives and friends visit one and other and return to their home towns. The spring festival is a holiday in China and is celebrated in all parts of the world where Chinese people have settled including Bendigo. As our students are far removed from their families, the college helps relieve the homesickness that is often experienced at this special time, by enabling them to come together as a large “family group” to celebrate this significant event.

On arrival, students shared the tasks of preparing and making dumplings which were cooked on site. Each student and staff member also brought a dish they had prepared at home to share. A feast of chicken feet, chicken wings, pork, beef ribs, eggs, and many traditional and special vegetable dishes made for a worthy feast.

While the western zodiac system is divided into 12 months, the Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 years each associated with an animal. People are said to be influenced by the personality of the animal which rules their birth. 2016 is the year of the Fire Monkey.