ABOUT 300 Karen from Werribee, Geelong, Springvale and Bendigo gathered in Bendigo on Saturday to see in the 2753 Karen new year.
Mayor Barry Lyons and Councillor Rod Fyffe joined the colourful harvest celebration at St Andrew’s Uniting Church, which featured traditional bright costumes, dancing, food and music.
Venerable Ashin Moonie said the new year signalled a need to train young people to be good leaders.
“Today, leaders and all those who want to be leaders should have patience and lovingkindness so there will be peace for everyone,” he said.
Attendee Christine Perry said she was loving the festival.
“Everyone is so friendly and welcoming,” she said, adding the rope dancing and bamboo dancing was “just amazing”.
The Karen calendar dates from the ethnic group’s arrival in Burma in 739BC.