Saturday, January 17, 2009

Year of Ox welcomed

East And Bays Courier | Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The Auckland Chinese Community Centre is holding its Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day to welcome in the Year of the Ox.

The event is on Saturday from 9.30am to 3.30pm in halls one and two at the ASB Showgrounds, 217 Greenlane West.

Prime Minister John Key will open the annual celebration at 10am.

There will be special acts by a troupe of folk art performers, traditional Chinese dances and songs.

A modern Chinese pop band will perform and there will be demonstrations of martial arts, tai chi, lion dances, hip hop dance and diabolo tricks.

More than 200 stalls will be selling traditional and exotic Chinese hot delicacies.

Arts and crafts will be for sale and there will be free games and rides for children.

No admission charge.

Handwriting more than a work of art

Years of hard work and skill are behind every brush stroke made by Chinese calligrapher Jingzhi Zhu.

Ms Zhu, who also goes by the name Julie, will be demonstrating her art at the Chinese New Year Festival in Greenlane tomorrow.

The city-based artist started doing calligraphy in China when she was seven years old with her father’s encouragement.

"My father was my very first teacher, he loved it very much."

He taught her for a year, before sending her to a professional calligraphy class.

From there, she studied under several famous calligraphy artists in China.

"I made huge progress and entered many national and international competitions and won many gold and silver medals."

Her work has been exhibited overseas and she is about to have her first solo show at the Corban Estate Arts Centre in west Auckland, which opens on Thursday and runs until March 1.

Ms Zhu moved to New Zealand two years ago to study a master’s programme at Auckland University, where she also teaches Chinese language and hopes in the future to also teach English.

At first it was hard to integrate her love of calligraphy with her new life because many people don’t know what Chinese calligraphy is.

"These days, many young people don’t like it. They think it is really boring because you have to practise every day and many have lost interest.

"Luckily I found the New Zealand Chinese Calligraphers Association and joined."

Members meet once a month and exchange ideas about the way they practise calligraphy.

Ms Zhu’s work has been shown at the Aotea Centre as part of a group exhibition and last year she was offered the chance to demonstrate her art at the Chinese New Year Festival.

She translated people’s names into Chinese and wrote them in calligraphy or wrote blessing words like "longevity" and "lucky" on special red paper.

Her art was so popular, she ran out of red paper and her friends had to dash out and buy more.

This year she is stocking up on paper before tomorrow’s festival.

For the new year, she writes special couplets for people to hang on their doors, welcoming the year and the good luck it brings.

Ms Zhu is going to visit her family in China next week to write their couplets.

The festival also includes a dragon dance, a troupe of performers from Hebei in China, Chinese pop group Lulu and the Puppets, and demonstrations of various martial arts.

Organiser Kai Luey says up to 20,000 people are expected to attend the event, which has attractions for all ages.

The free festival will be held tomorrow at the ASB Showgrounds from 9.30am to 3.30pm

By JANIE SMITH - Central Leader | Friday, 16 January 2009.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

The Lunar New Year dates from 2600 BC, when the Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the Chinese zodiac.

Because of cyclical lunar dating, the first day of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. On the Chinese calendar, 2009 is Lunar Year 4706-4707.

On the Western calendar, the start of the New Year falls on Monday, January 26, 2009 — The Year of the Ox. If you were born in 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985 or 1997 - you were born under the sign of the ox.

2009 - The Year of the Ox. HAPPY NEW YEAR

The second animal who arrived was the serious, enduring and hard-working Ox.The coming 2009 year of the earth Ox also called 2009 year of the Bull or Buffalo is around the corner. It looks like we've got honest, candid and open natured year ahead. As you might guess, coming 2009 year of the earth Ox is dependable, calm and modest.

The ox person is not extravagant, and the thought of living off credit cards or being in debt makes him/her nervous. The possibility of taking a serious risk could cause the ox person many sleepless nights. These people are truthful and sincere, and the idea of wheeling and dealing in a competitive world is distasteful to them. It would be right to mention that people born in the ox years are rarely driven by the prospect of financial gain. These people are always welcome because of their honesty and patience. They have many friends, who appreciate the fact that the ox people are rather introverted and wary of new trends, although every now and then they can be encouraged to try something new. It is important to remember that the ox people are sociable and relaxed when they feel secure, but occasionally a dark cloud looms over such person and he/she takes on the worries of the world and tries to find solutions.