The Chinese New Year has already begun, and this time it is the year of the rabbit. On Sunday, the people in Brunei Darussalam, especially the Chinese community, welcomed the first day of the Lunar New Year with grand celebrations. This gave locals as well as foreigners the opportunity to witness the famous lion dance and other festivities.
Every Chinese new year is named after a sign of the Chinese zodiac. As there are 12 signs in the Chinese zodiac, the cycle repeats after every 12th year. Family events and crowds visiting temples marked the beginning of the year of the rabbit. One such temple is the historic Tengyun Temple, located in Bandar Seri Begawan’s city center.
The dragon and lion dances were held in front of this temple on Sunday. The crowds gathered to witness the dance performances were visibly impressed. Members of the royal family and some government officials also joined the local Chinese community in the festivities. Among those joining the celebrations was the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, Al-Muhtadee Billah.
He participated in the Yusheng along with his family while visiting several Chinese families. The Brunei Darussalam Meteorological Department also wished a Happy Lunar New Year 2023 on social media. The post announced that this was a time for family get-togethers, fresh beginnings, and new hopes for a joyful year to come for the Chinese friends and families of Brunei.
The open house tradition is another unique way of celebrating the Chinese New Year in Brunei. Even strangers can join relatives and friends in sharing the season’s joy. The Chinese embassy and many local Chinese organizations have hosted their version of the open house for their staff as well as members of the public over the years.
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