We visited the Melbourne Vietnamese Lunar Festival on Sunday in Victoria St, Richmond - this festival also coinciding with the start Chinese New Year Festivities.
If any event should represent the heart and soul of our great city - this was it. It was an example of what the modern day Australia has become. It is something, we, as Australians should be proud of.
The day showcased a wonderful & thriving Melbourne-based Vietnamese community and the richness it's culture brings to our young country.
In 1976 - just after the Vietnam War - there were only 382 recorded Vietnamese immigrants in Victoria. These few were mostly made up of orphans from the war, Vietnamese wives of Aussie servicemen and a few tertiary students. Today over 58,000 Victorians are Vietnamese born. We love what they have brought to this country - the wonderful food and culture full of so much color & incredible flavor!
We walked Victoria street bouncing off thousands of people as well as zigzagging our way to each of the amazing Vietnamese street-food stalls. The air was full of the smells of Vietnam with fragrant BBQ'd offerings at every turn - we couldn't see the stalls through the thick crowd - we only needed to follow our noses to find the next offering.
The constants of Vietnamese food were all around us, the waft of fresh BBQ, the ever-present pungent aroma of fish sauce & shrimp paste, freshly cut & brightly colored salads used to accompany the marinated pork, prawn and chicken skewers, stuffed squid & BBQ'd quail. The Vegetarian offer was prevalent also with freshly cooked Vietnamese pancakes served with minty-leafy greens for wrapping and sweet dipping sauce. It was also hard to walk past the many stalls serving delicious bowls of Pho, quickly assembled - so clean and fresh! Fresh fruit and sugar cane thirst quenchers were also available and very enjoyable.
|Pork & Chicken|
|Corn. Chicken Satay|
|Rice cakes with egg|
|Enter the year of the dragon!|
|Enter year of the little pup - Kingston|
|Small & Big kids enjoying snow cones and fairy floss|
|Sweet little girl enjoying the festivities|