Some exciting and colourful arenas of festivities will transpire in Bankstown this Lunar New Year to ring in the Year of the Pig, the twelfth and last animal in the Chinese zodiac cycle, representing good fortune.
A few celebrations on in this south-west suburb of Sydney will have you enjoying a wide range of interesting and fun things to see and do, from great food to children's activities and cultural entertainment.
All the traditional elements of this type of event will be present, from a lion dance to cultural dances, performances and a street parade. Both Chinese and Vietnamese dancers will display their customary styles, in additional to a fan dance and face changer. Fire performers add a different aspect as does a Japanese hula hoopist, a Chinese fashion parade, drumming and martial arts that include Kendo.
Stroll through the New Years' garden and flower market too as well as all the delicious food stalls and bright merchandise stalls. A display of fruit carving will have you mesmerised, whilst a watermelon eating competition will have your hands sticky and a chopstick challenge will test your skills.
Bankstown Arts Centre at 5 Olympic Parade is the meeting place on 2nd February should you wish to take part in a photography field trip from 4pm-8pm that will have you learning photography theory, camera set-up, and the principles and techniques of action photography from photography tutor Neoklis Bloukos.
You will be capturing the parade and the Saigon Place festivities above with the knowledge gained and will need to bring an adjustable digital SLR, any wide to telephoto lenses you have, an extra battery and memory flash card. No tripods allowed.
Further information and tickets available via Eventbrite. The cost is $40 per person. Get in quick before they're gone.
To mark the end of another year of hard work and to celebrate Asian culture, Bankstown Sports Club is bringing in the Year of the Pig in style with music and tradition as they wish everyone a lucky and prosperous year to come.
Firstly, from 7pm on 9th February, a lion dance will kick off proceedings and a God of Fortune will be roaming the club.
Skip a few days and visit on the 12th February at 7.30pm for a free concert in the Rainforest Lounge. Here, you'll find YKM Lion Dance and Drumming Group, a Neo face-change artist, the Lily Cheng Dancers, and Sally Song performing her Chinese fan and ribbon dances.
Whilst you're at it, enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants dishing up a variety of cuisines from Italian to Chinese. Lucky Cheng's has a menu inspired by Northern China with freshly-made noodles and dumplings served in hot spicy broths and bamboo steamers. You can also enjoy the culinary theatre as you watch expert noodle chefs preparing meals.
For more Asian, Peking SQ adds a twist to Chinese street food with a creative a-la-carte menu. With an in-house Peking duck oven producing a range of on-demand duck dishes and a Chinese Tea house serving specialist herbal teas, they're worth a visit.
Check out all that the club has to offer in their convenient location at 8 Greenfield Parade, within walking distance of Bankstown train station.
As we reflect on the year that was, look to aspire to new levels in 2019. Try new adventures, broaden your knowledge and, most of all, be kind as the pig is. Oh, and eat dumplings too, as Chinese legend suggests that the more dumplings you eat during New Year celebrations, the more 'good luck' you will have in the New Year. Cheers to that!