Among many of the Karen's ceremonial events the Karen New Year Eve is considered to be a very significant social and traditional event, widely commemorated around the world by the Karen people. Historically, the Karen New Year Eve is relative recent and it was first officially celebrated in the year of 1938. The occasion is held on the first of the month of Therlay (January) in accordance with the Karen calendar year.
For the Karen community living in Queensland, united under the leadership of the Australian Karen Organisation (AKO), the event is held every year in a most fashionable way. As the number of our Karen community members grow in size every year the event has become a very vibrant and elaborate ceremonial event which attract many other community members to join us in the celebration. Each year the celebration is held at a different location since the Karen community in Brisbane is geographically expanded between North and South, therefore the event is routinely held between the Northern and Southern suburb of Brisbane yearly.
This year, 2017 the event was held at North side of Brisbane and there were over 600 attendees including guests from other community members and community organisations, such as MDA, QPAST. This year it had been a successful year for our Karen community living in Brisbane and we took pride in making this event ever grow bigger and stronger. This year celebration agenda includes several activates, such as Karen traditional dance called Doe Dace organised by South siders and the children Doe Dace initiated by the North siders. Doe Dace is a form of performance which has widely known as traditional and symbolic for the unity of the Karen people across the globe.
In the ceremony there were several guest speakers from other community leaders and community organisation representatives, songs performance presented by youth department, women department and other talented individual youngsters from the community. There were also award presentation, mainly sport activities that usually happened one to two weeks prior to the actual celebration date. In the sport competition there were many groups and various sport activities, such as man and women soccer groups, cane ball and men and women volleyball teams. As always, refreshment and food prepared by community members and served by youth followed after the celebration.