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Aussie shopping centres celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year

“Xīn nián kuài lè” or “gong xǐ fā cái” are the more common phrases used to greet the Chinese as they welcome a Lunar New Year.

An important event for Chinese consumers, the Chinese Lunar New Year has been a significant event for Australia retailers for years, as the number of Chinese tourists entering the country has grown.

About 1.4 million Chinese tourists now enter the country every year and spend about $11.5 billion during their stay, about a quarter of all inbound tourism expenditure, according to Tourism Australia’s 2018 data.

As a result, most retailers have adapted their offerings to appeal to visiting consumers, as well as to the 1.2 million Australians with Chinese ancestry (ABS 2016 Census), by catering to important dates like the Chinese Lunar New Year.

While the Chinese New Year is today, February 5, many fashion retailers like H&M started releasing Chinese New Year collection campaigns last month. The fast fashion company released a video campaign featuring family togetherness and showcasing a range of clothing of cherry and rich-red hues suitable for the festival week.

Meanwhile, British luxury fashion house Burberry released a campaign celebrating family traditions showcasing classic Burberry pieces.

Shopping centres have also gone all out to welcome the Year of the Pig and attract visiting consumers and Australians with Chinese ancestry.

In Box Hill Central, Melbourne, a 3D illuminated pig has been installed inside the centre painted in red, a lucky colour according to Chinese culture with gold details. Last February 2, the centre had opened their weeklong festivities with a lion dance and other activities for visitors. Food stalls also line the streets outside the centre selling Chinese delicacies. Some stalls sell Chinese good luck charms.

Mirvac-owned Birkenhead Point shopping centre will install a piece of art painted by Chinese artist Guan Wei on a 22-metre wall on the third level. The artist will be flying out from Beijing on February 9 and will sign the art on site, as well as provide insights into his work.

The mall will also launch a big brand sale, with more than 30 retailers participating, from February 8 to 10 and to open the destination, a sweet treat cart will be installed with Pig-inspired balloon installations across Level 2. The centre’s newly opened Guest Services Lounge will also be decorated with Year of the Pig-inspired decoration.

Westfield Garden City, Brisbane, will launch a fireworks display to celebrate the New Year, along with lion and fire dances. The centre will also offer kids’ workshops inside the mall.

Westfield Chatswood, Sydney, has installed 88 golden pigs and prosperity trees to welcome wealth and health in the new year. The display can be viewed until February 19.

The centre also hosted Sydney’s largest Prosperity Salad Toss last February 2, one of the dishes that Chinese usually prepare during the New Year. Masterchef finalist Sarah Tiong gave a short description of the event and its significance.

The Chadstone shopping centre has installed a Blossom Garden since January 25 and will be there until February 7. The Blossom Garden is inspired by traditional Chinese gardens and was designed to emulate landscapes made for reflection and escape.

The mall will also have traditional lion dances with drummers today to welcome the New Year.

Located in the heart of Sydney’s Chinatown, Market City Sydney has prepared events to welcome the Year of the Pig which will run until February 19. Visitors to the area will learn how to cook a Lunar New Year feast with television chef and author Adam Liaw. There will also be traditional cultural performances and mural paintings for kids.

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