From January 27 to February 12th the Lunar New Year Festival will feature over 80 events for one of NSW’s most glorious and globe attracting festivals: Sydney’s Chinese New Year Celebrations. Most of the exhibitions and entertainment are free, alongside seeing the hugely popular Dragon Boat Races in the Harbour. Boats are 12 meters long with up to 20 paddlers and the drums will be banging as they speed to the finishing line. Want to know the full Chinese New Year scoop? Let’s get started!
This is the city’s 21st anniversary and for 2017, the Year of the Rooster will ensure you’re up at the crack of dawn to check out the massive Lunar Lanterns, representing all animal’s in the zodiac. Attracting over one million people, the Sydney event is the largest outside of China. So if you want to find your animal zodiac, remember to scout around the lanterns and hunt for the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, money, dog, pig and obviously the crème de la 2017 crème….rooster.
Last year, major landmarks were illuminated red, the Chinese symbol for luck and prosperity. To date, the organizers are yet to promote the full line up schedule but we do know there will be a ton of pop up food festivals, street food markets and a city swaddled by Chinese lanterns.
The Dragon Boat racing has become an institution of China for over 2000 years and classified as an international sport. Taking place around Cockle Bay Wharf in Darling Harbour, the crowds will be multiple layers knee deep, cheering on the racers. Once you’ve screamed yourself hoarse, you can head into Darling Harbour for the Chinese Garden of Friendship. There will be a multitude of workshops, tours and demonstrations taking place, to educate you on the Chinese culture and history over this two week period. And if you want music to your ears, the Chinese Chamber Music Festival will entertain you with melodic tunes from both international and local artists within the gardens.
Tai Chi classes will be available or try out acrobatic lion dancing (a symbol of good luck and fortune). If a tad of peace and quiet is required, the traditional tea ceremony in silence may be your calling. And for kids’ entertainment, they can learn how to make rooster inspired puppets in the Monkey Tales attraction…and take them home for keeps! There are admission fees for garden entry: from $6 for adults, $3 per child (under 12’s) and family, concession and senior packages.
Take a ferry ride over that same race water in the Harbour and within 10 minutes, you’ll be at Cremorne Point. The only time you don’t want to be seeing red is if you check Cremorne Point Manor’s accommodation availability too late…and we’re booked up!