The City of Whitehorse held its annual lunar festival this weekend with crowds descending to ring in the year of the Rabbit.

Hosted by the Asian Business Association of Whitehorse, the event saw traditional performances, culinary delights and a celebratory atmosphere paint Box Hill in auspicious red as per Chinese tradition.

Bill Papastergiadis attended the festivities as a representative of the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC), due to COVID restrictions, it was the first held in three years.

Mr Papastergiadis says that “celebrating our diversity is an integral part of Australia’s cultural fabric, it was a privilege to be invited as the VMC representative to this year’s festival.”

“Financial support for festivals such as these is critical to see them flourish, as they’re provided free of charge to the public.”

Action shot of the festivities at Box Hill’s Lunar New Year festival. Photo: Supplied

Prime Minister Albanese also attended the event alongside Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Federal Minister for Immigration Andrew Giles.

“Having our political leaders present is important symbolically,” Mr Papastergiadis notes “The attendance of the prime minister especially, who announced to the public that this year was particularly significant for him seeing as it’s his zodiac.”

He continues “the celebration and support of these events isn’t just a vital learning experience; these events richly enhance our cosmopolitan community.

“They remind us of the need to continue to respect diversity.”

Bill Papastergiadis with Shadow Minister of Social Services Michael Soukar. Photo: Supplied

Mark Lane, Mayor of the City of Whitehorse said “I’m not surprised so many leaders have made the effort to come to Box Hill to celebrate the Lunar New Year.”

“We’re a thriving multicultural success story, where migration has directly contributed to the prosperity and cultural richness of our city. I’m proud of our strong, diverse community here in Box Hill, and across Whitehorse.”

The Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture.