Here in Western Australia, Lunar New Year is particularly significant for the home of Willie Creek Pearls. Broome is a melting pot of culture, embedded with strong Asian influence from Indonesian, Malay, Phillipine, Chinese and Japanese cultures, a result of the multicultural pearling history of the town.
Today in Broome, this influence can be seen throughout the architecture and felt in the spirited personality of the town and its residents. Festivals, such as Shinju Matsuri (The Festival Of The Pearl) showcase the amazing culturally diverse cuisine through events including our own Willie Creek Pearls’ Pearl Meat Cook-Off, which invites local Chefs to create tantalising pearl meat recipes for visiting guests and locals to enjoy and vote for their favourite dish. The two week program of events also includes the prestigious Long Table Dinner, set on the white sands of Cable Beach and the Floating Lantern Matsuri, which encompasses a symbolic spirtiualism as messages of love, hope and rememberance of loved ones are written on floating lanterns and sent out to sea against the magnificent Indian ocean sunset (later to be collected to ensure the event is environmentally friendly).
A traditional dragon dance, a dance team under a long Dragon costume imitating the movements of the river spirit, is never far from a true Broome celebration and we are fortunate to have the Broome Chinese Community Inc. who are committed to continue teaching this tradition to the emerging generations, recently welcoming the W.A. Chung Wah Lion And Dragon Dance Troupe for a whirlwind weekend of lessons.
Our Pearl Luggers museum is located in the heart of Chinatown, the cultural and historical hub of Broome. In Chinatown, you can stroll through Johnny Chi Lane to read about the history of Johnny Chi, a Chinese cook with a captivating tale who later became a pearl diver. Or wander over to Sun Pictures, the world’s oldest operating open-air picture theatre, initially constructed in 1903 as an Asian emporium and Japansese playhouse before being sold and re-constructed in 1913. One of the most fascinating things about Broome is the stories, deriving from both land and sea, that lay beneath the surface.
2022 is the Year of the Water Tiger, occuring only once every 60 years (there are 5 zodiac elements in Chinese astrology: wood, fire, earth, metal and water). This signals that the year will carry good fortune towards relationships and family life. Water Tigers born in 1962 will be brought fortune and luck by the colours of green and blue and the numbers 1, 3 and 7.
We are delighted to celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Water Tiger with you. We wish you happiness and prosperity for the year ahead.
From our family to yours,
Happy Lunar New Year 2022!