CHINESE NEW YEAR | More than a thousand people offered incense to Buddha and prayed for good luck at Mingyue Lay Temple Bonnyrigg

Ten minutes of fireworks at 11pm on Monday last week welcomed in the Chinese New Year at Mingyue  Lay  Temple  Bonnyrigg, to the delight of more than a thousand residents.

The big celebration continued next morning, Tuesday, for Chinese New Year’s Day for the Year of the Pig.   

At 9.45am the audience was treated to the drum and lion-dance performance.

The ceremony started at 10am with a cultural dance, followed by the NSW Police Band and singer leading everyone in the National Anthem.

James Chan, chairman of the Australian  Chinese  Buddhist  Society, welcomed and thanked the guests for supporting this major cultural event.

He was also grateful for the good weather because the forecast for a rainy day had him worried him over the previous few days.

He anticipated that the Year of the Pig will be a better year for everyone.

President Vincent  Kong thanked the committee members, temple staff and volunteers for their support which had resulted in two particular key achievements: the completion of Dizhang  Dian hall which is now ready for service and also the formation last year of the young Qing  Fong lion-dance team at the temple, fully sponsored by the Australian Chinese Buddhist Society and Mingyue Lay temple.

Lunar New Year is an opportunity to thank the Chinese community in NSW for all their contributions and for fostering social cohesion and harmony.

MP RAY WILLIAMS, Minister for Multiculturalism and Minister for Disability Services

He promised to work hard continuously to improve service to the community.

MP Ray  Williams, Minister for Multiculturalism and Minister for Disability Services, congratulated everyone on this significant cultural event. He said in NSW there were more than half a million people of Chinese ancestry, with 27,000 living in the Fairfield local government area alone. “Lunar New Year is an opportunity to thank the Chinese community in NSW for all their contributions and for fostering social cohesion and harmony,” he said.

Fowler federal MP Chris  Hayes greeted the audience in Chinese and Mandarin. He said he enjoys attending celebrations at the temple each year. “This is the Year of the Pig, which represents luck, good fortune, prosperity and no doubt something to do with a healthy appetite and a reasonable love of food,” he said.

He acknowledged the good work of chairman James Chan and president Vincent Kong and members of the Australian Chinese Buddhist Society and the rich and vibrant community and the contribution the temple makes to this community and he wished everyone a happy New Year.

Liverpool mayor Wendy  Waller said: “Congratulations to the Australian Chinese Buddhist Society for a wonderful event celebrating the Lunar New Year. May the Year of the Pig bring good fortune and happiness to our growing city, including all of our culturally diverse communities.”

Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone said: “Happy New Year! 2019 is the Year of the Pig. The pig is known to be hard-working, diligent, compassionate and generous. New Year is a time for family to gather and pay respect to their ancestors. It gives all our community the chance to come together and share in a celebration that is rich in culture, ancient traditions and beliefs.

“It’s also an opportunity to look ahead to a new year that we hope will bring us peace, joy and good fortune. I’d like to take this opportunity to also thank the Australian Chinese Buddhist Society for their work in the Fairfield community over many years. I wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope the Year of the Pig brings you all good health, prosperity and happiness.“

Guests also included Werriwa federal MP Anne  Stanley, Cabramatta state MP Nick Lalich, Fairfield state MP Guy Zangari, Strathfield state MP Jodi  McKay representing Opposition leader Michael Daley, Prospect state MP Dr Hugh  McDermott and Fairfield commander and acting superintendent Craig Ireland.

The guests helped light up the five-metre fire crackers and also dotted the eyes and tongues of the lions and dragon of the Qing Fong lion-dance troupe.

The highlights continued with performances by the Police Band whose singer sang a Hung  Hey  Fat  Choy traditional Chinese song which the audience loved. There were more cultural dances, magic faces and a magic show before the end of the ceremony.

Guests and temple members had a wonderful time at this Chinese New Year morning.

More than a thousand people offered incense to Buddha and prayed for good luck for their families and the community in the New Year.