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Sydney Chinese New Year Festival 2018

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Over 80 traditional & contemporary events to discover

The Sydney Chinese New Year Festival returns for 17 jam-packed days this summer.

The Sydney Chinese New Year Festival is the largest celebration of Lunar New Year outside of Asia and in 2017 attracted more than 1.3 million people, making it the third largest annual event in Sydney.

Celebrating its 22nd birthday and the Year of the Dog in 2018, this year's festival is expected to be the biggest yet with more than 80 traditional and contemporary events across the City and its villages.

With a vibrant and joyful celebration of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai and Indonesian culture, you can curate your own authentic Sydney Chinese New Year Festival experience from Friday 16 February to Sunday 4 March 2018.

Enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Asia in the heart of Sydney City with the Sydney Chinese New Year Festival.

Check out some of the program highlights below:

Lunar Lanterns – Fri 16 – Sun 25 Feb

Lunar Lanterns features 12 animals of the zodiac and new work by some of Australia's most exciting contemporary Asian Australian artists including new lanterns by Song Ling (Dog - Sydney Opera House), Kevin Bathman (Tiger – Wharf 6), Guan Wei (Dragon – Museum of Contemporary Art lawn) and John Deng (Pig - Cadman's Cottage). To ring in the Year of the Dog, an additional pair of 3.8m dog lanterns by Fan Dongwang will be located in the heart of Chinatown.

Circular Quay, Sydney Opera House to The Rocks


Frameshift presented by Art & About Sydney – Fri 16, Sat 17 and 18 Feb, 8.30-9.15pm

Frameshift is an aerial theatre show that combines vertical performance, contemporary theatre and b-boy dancing. A co-production between Australian physical theatre company Stalker Theatre, Korean vertical performance group Creative Dandi, and Seoul b-boy group Drifterzcrew.

Customs House Forecourt, 31 Alfred St, Circular Quay

Community Performance Program – 16-18 & 23-25 Feb, 5pm followed by the Lunar Spectacular Show, 7-8pm.

Performers from a wide range of community groups will take to the outdoor stage in The Rocks with traditional and contemporary performances. From 5pm, see community groups specialising in choir performances, opera, classical music, fashion shows, tai chi and kung fu. Commencing at 7pm, the Lunar Spectacular Show is a one-hour curated program that showcases local community groups performing traditional Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai and Indonesian dancing; Korean drumming; Japanese hip hop; and stilt walking.

First Fleet Park, The Rocks


Chinatown Celebrations – Fri 16 Feb – Sun 4 Mar

Chinatown is the historical home and the cultural heart of the Sydney Chinese New Year Festival. It is the place to visit for an authentic traditional Lunar New Year experience. Chinatown will come alive with the sights and sounds of Lion Dance performances and traditional New Year firecrackers to drive away evil every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 6pm and 6.30pm. Another highlight will be the AYAM™ Zodiac Roulette to discover your destiny dish and a personalised horoscope prediction for 2018, matched to your Western and Chinese horoscopes.

Chinatown Dog Lanterns - Fri 16 Feb - Sun 4 Mar

For this Year of the Dog, Chinatown will be watched by two guardian dogs towering 3.8m above the street. Designed by Fan Dongwang, the large, friendly, fibreglass lanterns combine traditional Chinese three-dimensional carving techniques with Western pop art colour palettes. The pattern and colour of the red and blue dogs reflect the opposite qualities of Yin and Yang, as well as the happy, celebratory atmosphere of the Chinese New Year Festival.

Cnr Dixon and Little Hay Streets, Chinatown


Henan Weekend – International delegation performances – Sat 24 - Sun 25 Feb, 5-5.30pm

Each year the City of Sydney welcomes visiting artists from China. This year audiences will delight in traditional and contemporary performances from artists visiting from China's central region of Henan.

Highlights include a thrilling Shaolin Monks martial arts performance who will showcase Shaolin boxing, kungfu skills, weapons and stunt demonstrations. Henan artists will also treat guests to traditional dance and music performances, Henan dialect rap, Chinese classical dance, and a performance using the pipa.

First Fleet Park, The Rocks


Dragon Boat Races – Sat 24 and Sunday 25 Feb, 8-5pm (Sat) & 8.30am-3pm (Sun)

More than 3,000 paddlers will churn up the water as thousands of spectators line the banks of Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour to watch the boats battle it out in the southern hemisphere's largest dragon boat racing festival.

Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour

Associated Events – Fri 16 Feb – Sun 4 Mar

More than 80 associated events across Sydney will offer diverse ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Events include singing karaoke at the top of the Harbour Bridge, tea ceremonies, exploring the moon at Sydney Observatory, lantern workshops and photography exhibitions. Enjoy some theatre with Michelle Law's hilarious new play at Belvoir Street. Associated events are presented by a range of partners and include exhibitions, events for families & kids, talks and tours and workshops.

Lunar Eats – Fri 16 Feb – Sun 4 Mar

Sydney has some of the best Asian food in the world and we want to help you eat your way around Sydney this Lunar New Year. Whether you are looking for a traditional Asian banquet or something with a contemporary Asian twist there will be plenty of opportunities to savour the taste of Asia.

Highlights include a Chinese New Year banquet at Jade Temple, Chinese New Year Night Market at Sydney Fish Market and indulge your sweet tooth at 12 Micron's Chinese New Year Dessert Degustation. There are over 200 Asian restaurants in Chinatown and CBD South. Check out all the culinary delights in the Lunar Eats program at


Guide Dogs NSW/ACT – official charity partner

City of Sydney is proud to partner with Guide Dogs NSW/ACT as the 2018 Sydney Chinese New Year Festival charity partner.

Visit Customs House and nearby Scout Place from 16-25 Feb and see the familiar, life-size model dog donation boxes transformed into a breathtaking art installation of 60 dogs representing 60 years of service. Vote for your favourite with a gold coin.

Scout Place and Customs House, Alfred St, Circular Quay

For more information see and post and follow the conversation using #CNYSYD.

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When: February 16 to March 4, 2018
Where: Sydney CBD
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