Elisa Nguyen Author

International students and a fine of 180 AUD for not completing the Census?

Written by News, Student Life

What is Census?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will hold the Census of Population and Housing again this year. In 2016 Census will be held on Tuesday, the 9th of August. It is a legal form that must be completed by every individual living in Australia on the night. The information collected creates an extensive database of details such as marriage status, religion (the only question that is optional), racial background and income. This helps determine where taxpayer money will be best spent – in health, transport and infrastructure, education and so on.


That’s a lot of numbers. (http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/the-outrageous-fines-you-face-if-you-dont-fill-out-census-properly/news-story/c0deab26de8ee81f44c37a9a5ab1d990)

How does this affect me as an international student?

The Census aims to understand how many people are in Australia at one particular time – a “snapshot” of the population. Therefore, regardless of whether you are a citizen or not, if you are in Australia you must complete the form. This includes tourists, international students or those on working visas. By participating, you are helping the government and businesses have a better idea of what services to provide international students. Essentially, you help shape Australia’s future.

So what happens?

On August 1st, a letter from ABS may have been mailed to your household. It contains a 12-digit code unique to your address and allows you to complete the Census online. If you wish to complete a paper form, call ABS to request one or visit the website using the 12-digit code you have received. Simply complete the document and send it back using the provided envelope.

This was how Facebook was done back in the day (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3717565/Australian-Census-2016-means-1800-fines-personal-information-kept.html)

Snail mail – how Facebook messenger was done back in the day. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3717565/Australian-Census-2016-means-1800-fines-personal-information-kept.html)

But I’m not at home on Census night…

If you live in a:

  • Shared-house includes everyone living there on the form. Or you can call 1300 214 531 to ask for a personal login.
  • Residence you will be provided with a personal form with login details.

If you are:

  • Staying at another house on Tuesday, make sure you’ve been included on their Census as part of their household. Similarly, if you have guests staying over, include them on your form.
  • At an accommodation service – hotel serviced apartment, hostel or caravan park – you will be provided with one once you arrive.
  • In more remote areas ABS Field Officers will be posted at various locations or visit your home to provide paper forms or answer any questions.
  • Overseas on Tuesday the 9th of August, there is no need to complete it.

What if I don’t complete the form?

Since the Census form is a legal document if you miss the date, ABS will remind you of your obligation. If you still do not send the form to you will be fined $180 AUD per day until you do. If you provide the misleading information, you will be fined $1800.

I don't know about you but I don't have $180 lying around...unless it's for photos like this one (http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/filipino/en/article/2016/08/04/settlement-guide-10-things-know-about-census [AAP Image/Joel Carrett])

I don’t know about you but I don’t have a spare $1800 lying around…unless it’s for photos like this one.(http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/filipino/en/article/2016/08/04/settlement-guide-10-things-know-about-census [AAP Image/Joel Carrett])

 Changes for 2016: 

Details such as names and addresses will be kept in the database for 48 months now instead of 18 months. Some might be concerned about this decision, but ABS assures that identification will be a “very low” risk. Data will be “anonymised” as names will be stored separately.

Annette Kelly, Victorian Census Director, explains that ABS is required by law to keep all information strictly confidential. This means they are not allowed to share data with third parties such as “other government agency, court or tribunal” or even between the Department of Immigration or the Australian Taxation Office.

Additionally, by 2020 all collected information will be destroyed.

So that means I'll hid out until 2020 (http://www.businessinsider.com.au/away-on-census-night-2016-8 [ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images])

So that just means I’ll be in hiding until 2020. (http://www.businessinsider.com.au/away-on-census-night-2016-8

 Where can I find out more? 

Visit the official website here to read more about the National Census or the detailed privacy statement in your language.

If you would like help filling out the form, give the Translation and Interpreter Service a call on 131 450.

Featured image credit: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/07/26/what-census-and-why-do-we-do-it

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Only Opal cards from 1st of August!

Written by News, Student Life

Opal smart cards have been introduced following the complete phase out of railway paper tickets on the 1st of August. However, in the next couple of months will there be another payment option available as well?

The Opal card was based on London’s Oyster and introduced due to fare evasion and misuse costing taxpayers $22 million AUD a year. NSW Government looks set to follow in London’s footsteps once more. According to news.com, Sydney will trial the use of bank cards to pay for trips in 2017. This means that customers will be able to travel using their credit or debit cards while the use of personal bank accounts reduces the need to top up regularly.



For the moment, railway customers must buy an Opal card or Opal single-trip in order to travel throughout Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and Southern Highlands. Additionally, customers will not be able to continue using Pensioner Excursion Tickets or TravelTens from August 1st. They can, however, apply for a refund for unused trips before 30th October 2016 here. Tourists can also apply for an Opal card before arrival to NSW, or use the new single-trip tickets.

If you still have not used for an Opal card, using a single-trip Opal card may serve as a last resort. These can be bought on buses, and standard Opal cards can be purchased from 7-Eleven, Woolworths or online. However, some stations have not yet been installed with single-use Opal cards.  If you are caught without a valid ticket, transport officers will be able to fine you.

Twitter: The Opal Card User (TheOpalUser) https://twitter.com/theopaluser/status/712483713595080705

Twitter: The Opal Card User (TheOpalUser)

Other changes include the removal of free journeys after 8 trips. Now, customers will only receive a 50% discount if they take more than 8 journeys. Those who change transportation twice – a train to a bus, for example – in one trip (and within one hour) will also receive a $2 discount instead of needing to pay twice.

Due to the success in London 2014, the bank card system was exported to other cities. However, the technology will not reach regions outside of Sydney for some time. Melbourne, Brisbane and other cities will need to remain with smartcards due to their older technologies.

Even though the potential use of bank cards is an Australian first, Londoners are already using their smartphones to pay fares instead of bank cards. Will Sydney do the same in the next few years?



Featured Image: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/d5fGYgFVyVU/maxresdefault.jpg

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Merge Termination: What next for Sydney College Arts?

Written by Editor’s Picks, News

Last Thursday, the University of Sydney’s (USYD) vice-chancellor, Michael Spence has announced the termination of the merge between Sydney College of Arts (SCA) and the University of NSW.


The merge was proposed less than a month ago and secretly signed between USYD and UNSW in June without the consultation of students. However, the students recently received an email from Spence. He stated that the two institutions ultimately had different definitions of what a “centre of excellence in visual arts” meant. Apparently, the original intention had “always been…not to proceed…unless we were clear that the vision…would benefit both the University and visual arts teaching and research.”

According to Fairfax Media, the agreement only allowed students to continue studies at UNSW Art and Design as well as the transition of some staff to UNSW. But one industry source questioned the move, saying “If [UNSW’s contemporary fine arts curriculum] was inadequate from Sydney’s point of view, why did it not include these issues in the Heads of Agreement?”


Several influential people have also expressed their discontent. Greens MP Jamie Parker had no faith in the merge from the outset: “If the University [of Sydney] had properly consulted staff and students, they would have discovered the incompatibility of the art practices at the two schools.” Neither did he believe that UNSW had adjusted their syllabus to align with SCA’s studio-based learning or had sufficient space for the new students.

Sally Breen, a well-known art collector and sponsor, told Fairfax Media that she would be “far more swayed into putting money into art schools”. When SCA was threatened, she no longer pledged money to the Art Gallery of NSW’s (AGNSW) Sydney Modern building project. To protest the planned closure, students alumni and supporters had also gathered on the steps of AGNSW. The rally coincided with the award of the Archibald Prize to highlight the social importance of art.


Although the merge has been terminated at present, Spence still states that talks of a merge with UNSW’s Art and Design may continue. Additionally, the future remains uncertain due to the planned movement of SCA students to the main Camperdown campus from the beginning of 2017. SCA’s original Rozelle campus at Callan Park will also be part of USYD’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Spence believes that this will “avoid unnecessary costs of remaining at Rozelle for more than a transition period.”1003188_659422267402083_130609927_n

Furthermore, Spence states that 2017 applicants will not be accepted for the Bachelor of Visual Arts “to create a re-imagined Bachelor of Visual Arts for commencement in 2018.”

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald 

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10 Reasons to Return to Uni

Written by Student Life

Semester 2 is just around the corner and if you are expecting to return to the same old uni – think again. A few universities had makeovers while you were gone. Here’s what’s new:

  • I know, starting off the list with ways to get out of uni instead of in seems a little unconventional. However, you know what’s extraordinary? These EnergyPods at USYD’s Fisher Library. The University has introduced a new sleep zone back in February and the world’s first chairs designed just for napping. It has a privacy shield (goodbye, Spotted: USYD), peaceful soundtracks and gentle lights to accompany your much-needed rest. If you have not seen them yet, check them out for a few minutes…or twenty.

Spend all my time here? Don’t mind if I do

  • When it comes to studying, USYD students might head off to the library at Bosch, Camden or Badham. Not anymore. USYD has renamed their libraries to the Bosch Burrows, Camden Burrows and The Quarter. Pretty fancy. Not to mention appropriate as we “burrow” our faces into books when it is exam time.
Maybe we need to update the map too

Maybe we need to update the map too

  • NSW Premier Mike Baird has just opened the Hilmer Building at UNSW on the 20th of July. It is the new home of Materials Science and Engineering Innovation, containing leading labs and collaborative spaces. This will allow research students and teams to reach creative solutions for businesses and governments.
Thank you John Gollings (photo credit), it's beautiful

Thank you John Gollings (photo credit), it is mesmerising

  • On the 3rd of September, UNSW will hold Open Day again, so come along and see what this university has to offer! Alternatively, just to visit our grounds and your friends (or maybe just for something that might be better – freebies).
Where to next?

Where to next?

  • World-class nursing and midwifery labs have been proudly opened at UTS by the Secretary of the NSW Ministry of Health, Elizabeth Koff. The recreation of hospital wards will provide realistic clinical experiences for these students. In doing so, a smoother transition from study to work will be gained. So…it is like we are acting as if we are on a movie set? Rad.
The patient looks to be in terrible condition

The patient appears to be a bit unwell

  • UTS is also holding their Open Day on the 27th of August from 9 am to 4 pm. Navigate your way around the city for more than 200 info sessions. If you are there, gaze up at the buildings’ weird and wonderful architecture. However, they are probably more commonly known by us as the ‘Paper Bag’ or the ‘Jenga Tower’ or, my personal favourite, the ‘Cheese Grater’.
Now just imagine a really large block of cheese (photo credit: sydneycubed.wordpress.com)

Now just imagine a huge block of cheese (photo credit: sydneycubed.wordpress.com)

  • Over at Macquarie Uni, two new buildings are being built – the next stage of expansion in the university’s Campus Master Plan. They will connect community and businesses as they are conveniently placed next to the new Library, but are also a short distance from MQ’s train station and the shopping centre. It will definitely be easier for some snacking post/pre/during lectures and study sessions.
The plan for University 8 and 10 Ave (credit: Kannfinch and Sissons)

The plan for University 8 and 10 Ave (credit: Kannfinch and Sissons)

  • MQ’s two commercial buildings are not the only things that are new. Operations for a new Cyber Security Hub will soon be under way between Optus Business and Macquarie Uni. The multi-disciplinary partnership draws upon Science and IT, Business and Economics, as well as Security Studies and Criminology. The Hub’s creation is a response to organisations seeking to better their management of cybercrime. Most of us are on the Internet anyway what with Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter…and Instagram and Google and Pokemon Go and…
John Paitaridis, Managing Director, Optus Business and Professor David Wilkinson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Engagement and Advancement) (credit: Paul Wright)

John Paitaridis, Managing Director, Optus Business and Professor David Wilkinson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Engagement and Advancement) (credit: Paul Wright)

  • From Semester 2, you can listen up for the relaunch of ACU’s very own Radio Station – ACU Wired – over “hear“. The team of 6 have trained and developed the program that will broadcast at stations such as Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Ballarat, North Sydney and Strathfield. If you are an ACU student, and you have always wanted a chance to DJ, work in radio production or be a news presenter, now you can!
There are too many button-knob-things

There are too many button-knob-things

  • ACU also shares their Open Day with UNSW. If you are at the North Sydney campus you can have freebies from two universe- I mean, you can find out what’s happening on campus, meet known and unknown students and rub shoulders with staff. If you are on the Strathfield side, Open Day is just a week later on the 10th of September!


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Students of SCA hold vigil on Art Gallery steps

Written by News

“Creativity is innate but culture is fostered.”

~ Agatha Gothe Snape


On Friday, 15/7/16, USYD’s Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) students and alumni, as well as supporters, held vigils at 11 am and 5 pm on the steps of the Art Gallery of NSW. The vigils were to protest SCA’s closure by the University of Sydney, proposed on the 21st of June without any consultation. SCA’s merge will force current students to transfer to University of New South Wales to continue their studies from Semester 1, 2017.

Dressed in red capes to show their unity, SCA students welcomed Barry Keldoulis to the stage. Once a candidate for the Arts Party, he addressed the fact that the proposal was not made with the people who it matters and affects most. He also encouraged the support of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).

Barry Keldoulis speaks first

Barry Keldoulis speaks first


Anthony Albanese, as part of the newly elected federal government, also had a few words to say: “Sydney is a global city…[which] values the enrichment art gives”. Without many local artists bringing cultural diversity to Sydney, businesses, residents and the community as a whole will be affected.

Anthony Albanese addresses the public and media

Anthony Albanese addresses the public and media


Alumni from SCA, such as Tim Silver, also graced the podium. Silver believes that since art is assorted, one art institution under UNSW will not allow the full and true experience of art. Not only that, but he argues that a single school, despite how excellent, will be easily controlled by the state.

Tim Silver speaks

Tim Silver speaks


Lionel Bawden, another SCA Alumni and previous winner of the prestigious Wynne Prize, said that our “arts education is murdered”. Sydney’s College of the Arts has a unique studio-based education that serves an entry point for people from all different levels of life. The students’ protest were not fighting only for their education but for the education of future students.

As one presenting within the walls of the Art Gallery, the artist had many things to say

As one presenting within the walls of the Art Gallery, the artist had many things to say


The last alumni to take the microphone was Agatha Gothe Snape, a SCA alumni who has exhibited in the Art Gallery of New South Wales previously. She spoke of the “weirdness” that was common with all the greatest artists past and present, a trait that could only be helped by a place that fostered growth. Without the history and politics that the college represents, Sydney’s art and public will not be deeply informed. By agreeing to merge SCA with UNSW, the University of Sydney will be going back on its promise made 25 years ago, to protect the art and creativity of its individuals.

Agatha Gothe Snape spoke powerful words at the SCA protest

Agatha Gothe Snape spoke powerful words at the SCA vigil


By holding the vigils on the same day as the Art Gallery’s opening of one of the most famed art prizes in Australia, the Archibald Prize, SCA’s supporters hoped to highlight the importance of the college. However, as of now, students still do not have any solid information regarding their future.

Visit Sydney College of the Arts Resistance (S.C.A.R) at letscastay.com for more information, or their Facebook page, or follow #sossca on Instagram.


Photo credit: VOIS Magazine

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10 apps to help secure your HD (high distinction)

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life, Tech

Let’s get these apps while we’re feeling amazingly motivated (offer ends third week of semester when everyone can’t be bothered attending lectures anymore).

1/ Any.do –


Who doesn’t love a minimalist to-do list with a touch-based interface? Any.do can be organised into Work, Personal and Grocery List tasks, which can further be divided into Today, Tomorrow, Upcoming and Someday tasks, which can then be sub-divided into smaller tasks. And if you’re feeling really fancy, you can even use your voice to check tasks off the list.

2/ Scribd


Every student has experienced the need to find all their books on their mile-long reading list. But Scribd has a growing archive of 500 000 books from over 900 different publishers allowing you to keep a library on your tablet, smartphone and web browser.

3/ EasyBib –


For all your referencing needs (at 11:55 pm). Just enter in the title and the citation is automatically generated in any format you require. You can even scan the book’s barcode, as well as save and share references to help other students out

4/ Studious – 


Organise your classes and schedules using this timetable app. You can even sync up your timetable with your friends’ (or see who you can avoid)

5/ CamScanner –


Your phone instantly turns into a portable scanner, allowing the digitization of documents for easy storage and access. It also has multiple export options as well as other features such as automatic cropping and lighting functions

6/ Itunes U – 


Browse through hundreds of courses relevant to your field or other interests all from leading universities around the world

7/ Alarmy: Sleep if you can ($2) – 


Now we don’t need to set alarms for 7:00 AM, 7:10 AM, 7:15 AM… With Alarmy you need to either shake the device a certain number of times or take a photo of a specific object to shut it off.

8/ Mint – 


Keep track of all your costs and spend within your budget. Best of all, it can organise your expenses for you

9/ GoConqr – 


Take notes, make mindmaps, flashcards or quizzes to help you study

10/ Evernote – 


What list of necessary apps is complete without Evernote? This is an all-in-one workspace where you can write articles, organise documents and photos as well as upload and share them.

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Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak at Town Hall

Written by Health, News

An outbreak of the bacterial Legionnaires’ Disease has recently been detected at Town Hall. There have been four identified cases in the past two days, and all are currently receiving hospital treatment.

The number of cases is considered to be unusually high. Only one case a week or even per month is usually seen. The clusters indicate that the source must be in the main area. All four men had been working in the CBD when they had been exposed.

At present, cooling towers, air-conditioning units and water fountains are being checked for the bacterium Legionella.

The infection zone has been identified as Clarence, Pitt, Park and King Streets. However, individuals should remain wary of Market, Sussex, George and Druitt St as well.


What is it:

Legionnaires’ disease is a bacterial disease from the common bacteria Legionella. It is a common bacteria and is usually found in the environment.It infects the lung and has a 10% fatality rate. Infection is prevented by regular maintenance as air conditioning units, particularly in large buildings, are particularly liable to contamination as the bacteria multiply in water.

Symptoms include:

  • fevers
  • chills
  • coughing
  • short breath
  • upset stomach
  • diarrhoea
  • muscle aches or a headache
  • a loss of appetite

The symptoms take 2 – 7 days to be apparent. If anyone has visited the Town Hall area and is experiencing any of the above symptoms, please visit your local GP to be tested.

Transmissible by: 

The bacterium can be inhaled from contaminated water vapor or dust.


A7E127 Scanning electron micrograph of Legionella pneumophila bacteria which causes Legionnaire s disease rod bacteria

A7E127 Scanning electron micrograph of Legionella pneumonia bacteria which causes Legionnaire s disease rod bacteria


There have been no new cases of Legionnaires’ Disease at the moment. Samples have also been taken from suspected air conditioning cooling towers near the infection zone. The laboratory testings will be available in the next four days.


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International Women’s Day

Written by News, Student Life

Australia’s current gender gap between men and women is 18.3%

This means that women need to work an additional 66 days per year in order to gain the same wage as men. (Australian Bureau of Statistics). International Women’s Day draws light to these inequalities among many others.

9th International Women and Health Meeting (Toronto)

9th International Women and Health Meeting (Toronto)

What does this day celebrate? 

The month of March is Women’s History Month. March the 8th in particular celebrates women’s achievements from all over the world – socially, economically, culturally and politically. The first Women’s Day was held on February the 28th (1909) in New York until it was permanently changed to 8th of March.


Theme for 2016: Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality 

By 2030 the United Nation’s agenda is to create traction for UN Women’s Step It Up Initiative, a program central to implementing Sustainable Development Goals. The Initiative envisions that all women and girls have equal rights, a future where domestic violence is eradicated and women have greater business opportunities.


Join the campaign #PledgeforParity

According to the World Economic Forum, gender parity will not be reached until 2133. That’s:

  • 117 years from 2016
  • 214 years since Madame CJ Walker became the world’s first self-made millionaire (1919)
  • 226 years after New Zealand became the first colony to grant the universal right to vote (1907)

Despite these predictions, we can increase awareness and accelerate the 117 year projection. With awareness of the barriers holding women back we can now work to remove them. For International Women’s Day and beyond, you can pledge to:

  • help women and girls achieve their dreams
  • challenge conscious and unconscious bias
  • call for gender-balanced leadership
  • value women and men’s contributions equally
  • create inclusive, flexible cultures


As UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said “from the glass ceiling to a carpet of shards”, we have come a long way. However, there are still milestones to achieve. Listen to her message for International Women’s Day 2016.

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Make a pledge, show your support and encourage others to do the same

For more information visit http://www.internationalwomensday.com/

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5 New Uni Resolutions for the Lazy

Written by Entertainment, Student Life, Tips & Tricks

Welcome to those fresh out of high school (prepare yourselves) and to those who are returning to uni (you poor suckers). Here are a few study hacks as a new semester descends upon us.

1/ Take the time to be present

Sit at the front. Aall the way at the front

Sit at the front. Aaall the way at the front.

Seat yourself where the professor directs their attention and thus questions. We’re all students and therefore nerds, nothing wrong with that. Near the back has poor lighting and food crumbs…which are like the crumbs of knowledge you’re picking up (#Englishmetaphors). And not being there in the first place means you’re not picking up anything at all. Plus, you’ll be surprised by what actually filters through during daydreams and thoughts about lunch.

2/ Don’t leave just yet


Ten minutes before the lecture ends there’s a rustling of papers, then a whistling of zippers, then a thunderstorm of seats snapping back into position as people leave. If your next class is almost a suburb away across uni campus that’s understandable. But if it’s within a 500 meter radius, surely you can spare a few minutes listening to the lecture slides that (most) professors have devoted time and energy to. Near exam or assignment time there are always a few pointers that will help and they’re usually tacked on at the end for the studious.

3/ Ask question after question

Young Boy at School Raising His Hand to Answer in Class --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Raise your hand like this Young Boy at School Raising His Hand to Answer in Class — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Only the mighty of us ask questions in class. Why? Because no one admires someone who seems to lengthen lecture time. But you know who does? The professor and every person who has the same question on their mind. You’re showing that you can think critically about the topic or present potentially new and interesting perspectives. It actually injects life into the lecture and allows the professor to showcase their knowledge. Uni is, after all, an opportunity. Make it a point to ask a question every time. Stand out and be remembered as that person instead of those people.

4/ Read the textbook before lectures

All the books you promised to read. But never did

All the books you promised to read. But never did

Yes, uni textbooks can cost almost two weeks rent. Yes, sometimes these are impulsively bought during the period of time when everyone’s super motivated to study. And yes, sometimes the recommended textbooks aren’t even used. But by going to the source of the professor’s material, you’ll know what the lecture will be about in advance. The absorption of the take-home message will be much faster, so you can get-home much more quickly too.

5/ Use lists

So many days. So many opportunities

So many days. So many opportunities

The phrase “get organised” sounds so overwhelming to procrastination lords everywhere. Like it’s so simple to download an app or buy a diary and write down tasks each day and just do it. So where do we start? Start by writing down lists. Write down absolutely everything you need to do and ignore deadlines. From there, prioritise those tasks. So many of us walk around with to-do lists in our heads that it creates unnecessary mental clutter (as uni students, we don’t need anymore). By writing them down, those goals become concrete and we’re more likely to remember them.

So go forth and conquer the first week of semester.

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Chinese New Year: 15 Days, 15 Meanings

Written by Student Life

According to legend, the Chinese goddess, Nu Wa, created the world. It takes a full 15 days to celebrate Chinese New Year as each day is the birthday of an animal she formed.

1/  “First morning of the year” or New Year’s Day: Chinese people believe that cleaning the house on this day will sweep away their good fortune. Meat is also not eaten on this day to cleanse the body, and the eldest family members are visited first



2/ Birthday of Dog: Married daughters visit the homes of their parents, and people eat wonton, a dumpling shaped like an ingot, to honour the God of Wealth. Domestic and stray dogs are fed well on this day



3/ Birthday of Pig: This is the day of Blazing Wrath, when ghosts are believed to roam the earth. It is therefore bad luck to go house-visiting. People go to temples instead to have their fortunes told



4/ Birthday of Sheep: To some, the New Year period can stretch over three days. This day is for spring dinners, and son-in-laws eating with their parent-in-laws

5/ Birthday of Ox or Cattle: Visiting friends or family on this day is unlucky as people must stay at home to welcome the God of Wealth, Po Woo. House cleaning takes place on this day to appease the gods who come down for inspection, but only out the back door. Traditional Chinese dumplings, jiazou, are eaten to bring wealth. All businesses reopen on this day


6/ Birthday of Horse: Temples, relatives and friends are visited on this day. Chinese people pray for good luck through the year


7/ Birthday of Men: Everyone is believed to grow a year older as today is the birthday of common men, when the goddess Nuwa created humans out of yellow clay. It is also a non-meat day for Buddhist Chinese people.


8/ The Completion Day: A family dinner is held to signify the eve of the Jade Emperor’s birthday, the end of the holiday season and the return to work. Employers generally hold a lunch for their employees. At midnight, prayers to the Jade Emperor begin

9/ Birthday of the Jade Emperor: Chinese people pray and make offerings to their Gods

10 – 12/ Feast days: More banquets with family and friends


13/ Cleansing: Vegetarian food and rice congee is served to cleanse the body of the rich food eaten throughout the two weeks


Pinterest: Macheesmo

14/ Preparation: Lanterns are prepared and made to be lit at the festival on the fifteenth day

15/ Lantern Day: Round dumplings shaped like the full moon are eaten as they represent reunion. People walk the streets with lanterns to light the way for the new year and guide lost spirits to Heaven


Featured image: Huu Trong Nguyen

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