Family is where the heart is

31 Jan 2023

Lunar New Year is a beautiful thing – you see the strong family bonds at this time.

Whether you celebrate the Year of the Rabbit or the Year of the Cat - Lunar New Year is all about family. 

Beginning on 22 January and ending on 5 February, Lunar New Year is a celebration of the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new year on the lunisolar calendar. In China,Vietnam, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Mongolia and other countries around the world, it is their mostsignificant celebration.  

In the Chinese zodiac, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, representing longevity, prosperity and good fortune. It is a consensus in Chinese culture that people born in this year are known to be gentle, pure of heart and quick-witted. In the Vietnamese zodiac, 2023 is the Year of the Cat,symbolising strength, powerand aggression. 

For Victoria Kung, Program Manager at the ANU Centre of Asian-Australian Leadership (CAAL), and Mandy Nguyen, Chief Operating Officer at the ANU Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology, Lunar New Year has always been about family.  

Each year on Lunar New Year's Eve, Victoria and Mandy gather at theirfamily homes to reunite with loved ones andshare ameal.  

"For me and my family, Lunar New Year is all about togetherness and food. Our Family Reunion Dinner on New Year's Eve is always prepared by my parents- it's very special," Victoria said.  

After dinner, Victoria and her family always sit down to watch the CCTV New Year's Gala, commonly known as Chunwan, a Chinese holiday tradition.  

Like many other traditions associated with Lunar New Year, Chunwan has a distinct focus on family. 

In traditional Vietnamese culture, Mandyalso sits down to a family dinner on New Year's Eve to mark Lunar New Year, known as 'Tết' in Vietnamese. 

"Lunar New Year is a beautiful thing - you see the strong family bonds at this time," Mandy said.   

With her family, she then attends theSakyamuni Buddhist Centre in Lyneham for a traditional celebration. 

This year, the emphasis of family on Lunar New Year is more important than everasVictoria and Mandy are both preparing to welcome new additions to their families.  

Here at ANU, we are committed to celebrating the diversity of our staff body by telling their stories. 

To tell your story this year, get in touch with the On Campus team at