Family ‘sweeps out the bad luck’ and welcomes Year of the Tiger

It’s the Lunar New Year’s Day on Tuesday, but with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, many public events where people would usually welcome the Year of the Tiger have been canceled or postponed.

Instead, thousands of people like the Lau-Tang family, from Doncaster East, are celebrating privately, with family and friends.

Michael Lau, his wife Wendy Tang and their two kids Kaitlyn, 9 and Austin, 2 praying at their Doncaster East home altar ahead of the lunar new year

Michael Lau, his wife Wendy Tang and their two kids Kaitlyn, 9 and Austin, 2 praying at their Doncaster East home altar ahead of the lunar new year Credit:Penny Stephens

Wendy Tang, who is of Chinese and Vietnamese heritage and a Buddhist, said for her the Lunar New Year is about celebration, family reunions, and keeping up traditions.

“It’s a reflection on the past, of what we can always do better in our lives, and moving ahead for the future. It’s a time of sweeping – sweeping out the bad luck, bringing in the good luck. ”

At home, the family, including husband Michael Lau, who also has Chinese-Vietnamese heritage and their children Kaitlyn, 9, and Austin, 2, wear red which represents prosperity, luck and love.

They burn incense and offer fruit, flowers and sweets to Quan Yin, a figure of compassion, to seek peace and good health.

After having dinner with Mr Lau’s father and extended family in Keilor on Monday night, the family were driving to Ms Tang’s parents in Mill Park to pray, offering the gods fruit, tea and water and welcoming the ancestors to New Year’s celebrations.

On Tuesday, the family will go to the Quang Minh Buddhist Temple in Braybrook, where they will pray for the souls of deceased ancestors, seeking “peace for them, so that they can ascend to heaven, or reincarnate,” Ms Tang said.

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