Charlie Xu

Banner image: Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne, photo Jason Lu

Former Chinese New Year Festival Box Hill director.

Lunar New Year has traditionally been a hectic time for Charlie Xu, who was heavily involved with the Chinese New Year Festival in Box Hill for 10 years.

“It is part of a very important celebration for the whole Asian community, not just Chinese,” he said. “It is a very successful event for a lot of people to celebrate.

”Since starting in 2002, the festival has grown from about 25,000 visitors to three times as many people attending, making it one of the largest multicultural events in Victoria. More responsibility on the organisation and greater professional involvement changed things behind the scenes, but the festival’s focus has remained consistent.

“People are coming to this larger event more for the celebration,” Mr Xu said. “We ensure there is a lot of food and a large red colour presence for happiness and we have the lanterns in the streets so people can feel involved in the celebration.”

While the Chinese New Year Festival is not being held in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, Mr Xu is already looking forward to the 2022 event.

“People bring their family, friends, classmates and teammates – everyone comes to celebrate and enjoy the culture,” he said. “There is a passion for us to bring people together. It is a great opportunity to show our culture, to share our knowledge and show our traditions.”