FOR many, this weekend's Chinese New Year celebrations will be a chance to marvel at the wonders of the Orient, but for Bundaberg's Chinese community, the event will hold an even greater significance.

Arriving in Bundaberg six years ago, Enya Xu said she was surprised but delighted to see how much the Bundaberg community had embraced her homeland's traditional annual celebration.

"It makes me and the entire Bundaberg Chinese community feel very welcome and honoured," she said.

"It's something I would expect in Sydney or Brisbane but to be so big here and it keeps getting bigger and bigger, it's very exciting."

Ms Xu said the festivities reminded her of her childhood in China, where Chinese New Year marked a prosperous time for young children.

"Chinese New Year is part of the Spring Festival, a really happy time, family fun and lots of eating and drinking," she said.

"The children wish their parents and aunties and uncles a happy new year and then they are given a "hong bao", which means red envelope.

"The hong bao are full of money - it's a time for the kids to be rich."

Sharing the MC duties at this year's Chinese New Year celebrations on Sunday, Ms Xu said she would make the announcements in English and Chinese, to help make visitors from Bundaberg's sister city Nanning feel welcome.

"It's exciting to see what the performers from our sister city will be doing this year," she said.

"They're not arriving until Saturday so I won't get to see them until the day."



FRIDAY: Tour the Bundaberg Regional Cemetery looking at the history of our local Chinese and their story. Tour runs from 6-8pm, phone 4130 4461 to book.

SATURDAY: Taste of China will be an evening packed with food, wine and entertainment at the Moncrieff Theatre from 6.30pm. Tickets are $10 and are available via the Moncrieff box office.

SATURDAY: Enjoy a free screening of Mao's Last Dancer, at Moncrieff Theatre at 7.30pm; the movie is based on Li Cunxin's best selling autobiography.

SUNDAY: Chinese New Year celebrations at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct from 3.30-8pm.

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