Year of the Horse gallops in to celebrate Chinese New Year
With its large, established Chinese community, Sydney enjoys an abundant array of celebrations around Chinese New Year. The rich and vibrant sights, smells and sounds in and around Chinatown during these celebrations attracts crowds of all ages and nationalities from all over Sydney. The customs and traditions of Chinese New Year herald in what is hoped will be a year of good fortune, happiness, wealth and longevity and it's a time for families to reunite and celebrate.
Yin and Yang. The Chinese Garden of Friendship is a garden oasis surrounded by modern city buildings
Although Chinatown is the hub of activity for Chinese New Year celebrations in Sydney's CBD, there are other places where the customs and traditions can be experienced. As a family, we often visit the Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbour where we enjoy weaving our way around the maze of cobbled paths, finding hidden pergolas overlooking water features and spotting eastern water dragons, koi and ducks who inhabit the garden. Finishing our visit with Chinese tea and dim sum at the tea house, we are offered a glimpse of some of the profound elements of the Chinese culture and traditions in a cool and tranquil surrounding.
The cobbled pathways of the garden lead to many surprising features and garden outlooks
For Chinese New Year, the garden is offering a special program of events that promises a unique experience for visitors. From Friday 24 January to Sunday 9 February 2014, the garden will host workshops, demonstrations, classes for tai chi, meditation, penjing and more. There will be traditional performances and tea ceremonies, talks on Chinese horticulture, brush painting and Feng Shui—most of which are free with garden entry but bookings will be essential. The opening of the garden's Chinese New Year festivities will also include a traditional lion dance – an event that guarantees "wow" factor. In celebration of the Year of the Horse, visitors will also have the opportunity to view an exhibition of artworks inspired by the horse and its friends by primary school children from Kids@theArthouse.
Events at the garden will be held during daytime and evening and, while in the area, make sure you visit nearby Chinatown and enjoy some of the wonderful food and atmosphere that will be on offer.
So, as we celebrate the Year of the Horse, get galloping and immerse yourself in the myths and traditions of the Chinese New Year.
Don't leave without offering the traditional greeting of "Kung Hei Fat Choy