Sydney prepares to welcome the Year of the Rooster with lion dancers. Photo: Edwina Pickles Lord mayor Clover Moore beats the drum for Sydney’s Chinese New Year festivities. Photo: Edwina Pickles
Sydney will celebrate a multicultural Australia over 17 days as the Lunar New Year makes way for the Year of the Rooster.
The city’s Lunar New Year festival will celebrate its 21st anniversary as the biggest outside of Asia.
“The Chinese New Year will be colourful, it will be noisy, it will be a lively celebration, and I hope Sydney will join us in this wonderful celebration,” Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore said.
The annual celebration will bring together residents and visitors to the “sights, sounds and tastes of Asia”. The festivities will begin on January 23 and conclude February 12.
“It celebrates not only our citizens of Chinese heritage but also Vietnamese, Thai and Korean,” Councillor Moore said. “So many Sydneysiders have that Asian heritage.”
The famed lanterns, representing the 12 Chinese zodiac signs and the rooster, will line the foreshore from the Sydney Opera House to Dawes Point during the festival.
“This year there will be an illuminated park,” the lord mayor said. “Tall, larger-than-life lunar lanterns around our harbour in celebration.”
The program of events will include dragon boat races, community performances, workshops, and red lights on the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Town Hall.
Chinese New Year festival curator Claudia Chan Shaw said the event would be a “spectacular display of shimmering lanterns”, with a focus on the Rooster across the foreshore.
“You can not miss them. They are absolutely huge,” Ms Chan Shaw said. “Displaying true Rooster traits of power and love of the limelight, the rooster lantern will be displayed here at the Opera house.”
In addition to the lights, the festival program offers 80 events across the city with a focus on Dixon Street and Chinatown, as well as Pitt Street Mall and Martin Place.
Chinese New Year festival advisory group chair Robert Kok said the upcoming festival and performances will showcase how “Sydney embraces Chinese New Year”.
“These community celebrations are always at the heart and soul of our Chinese New Year festival,” Mr Kok said. “It brings the community together to celebrate our multicultural society.”
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