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Chinese New Year

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by Emma Brown (subscribe)
I'm a freelance journalist and public relations consultant specialising in arts and entertainment.
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Just when you thought the New Year celebrations were over the Chinese New Year Festival is about to begin. To celebrate the year of the rabbit the annual festival will burst into life with free entertainment, banquets, dragon boat races, twilight parades, fireworks, competitions and children's activities.

Chinese New Year Festival
Chinese New Year Festival


The Chinese New Year Twilight Parade celebrates the Lunar New Year under the stars with a selection of musicians, costumes, dragons and rabbit magicians picking surprises from their hats.

According to the event website: "This year's parade features fabulous music, hip hop artists, flamboyant dragons, dazzling costumes and beautiful illuminated animals of the Chinese zodiac."

The parade on Sunday February 6 will travel from Town Hall to Chinatown with a special Chinese New Year fireworks display finale at Darling Harbour.

Chinese New Year Twilight Parade
Chinese New Year Twilight Parade


Kick, jump, karate chop and fight your way to the Bruce Lee cinema special Bruce Lee, My Brother. To mark the 70th anniversary of his birth, there will be a special screening of the martial arts legend biopic at Dendy Opera Quays.

The film focuses on Lee's early life as a rebellious adolescent in Hong Kong, until he sets off for the USA and conquers the world at the age of 18 with only US$100 in his pocket, as told by his younger brother, Robert Lee, starring Tony Leung Ka-fai and Aarif Rahman as Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee, My Brother
Bruce Lee, My Brother


Free entertainment includes Bilingual Storytime - a fun story and craft activity in both Mandarin and English on February 8 at Ultimo Library designed for children aged three-years-old and above.

You can learn to make your own firecracker decorations to scare away evil spirits at the Chinese New Year Decoration Craft Workshop, in English and Cantonese on February 11. Have you always wanted to learn about the practice of Feng Shui? Learn how to start 2011 with positive energy, prosperity and happiness on February 9, both lessons will take place at Customs House Library.

The biggest Dragon Boat Race competition in the southern hemisphere will thrill crowds at Darling Harbour with the thrashing of oars and the pounding of drums on the weekend of February 12 to 13.

Dragon Boat Race
Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Race


Feast yourself at the Chinese New Year Banquet where
Kylie Kwong invites you to enjoy a sumptuous 10 courses created using only the freshest local, organic and biodynamic produce at her Billy Kwong restaurant. Kwong will host the evening and share stories about her family and the significance of Chinese New Year on February 2.

Chinese New Year Kylie Kwong
Kylie Kwong will host a Chinese Banquet


Take a food tour of Chinatown, led by renowned journalist and food writer John Newton, in the company of Chinatown artist and tea merchant Raymond Leung. Meet at Chinatown Gate, to enjoy a delicious Chinese breakfast, yum cha at Eight Restaurant, a visit to the Chinese Ginseng and Herbs Company, a walk through Thai Town, and a chance to shop on January 29, February 2 and 12.
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Why? Start 2011 with energy, prosperity and happiness at the Chinese New Year Festival.
When: January 28 - February 13, 2011
Where: Chinatown and various Sydney venues.
Cost: Various ticket prices, some events are free.
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