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The Sydney Lunar Festival

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Celebrating the Year of the Pig this Lunar New Year

The Sydney Lunar Festival, which is expanding on City of Sydney's Chinese New Year celebrations, is a vibrant and joyful celebration of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai and Indonesian culture.

Join in the festivities with your family and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Asia in the heart of Sydney city from Friday 1 to Sunday 10 February 2019.

Check out some of the program highlights we think the kids will love this Sydney Lunar Festival:


Circular Quay and surrounds

Lunar Lanterns

1 – 10 February

Spectacular contemporary lanterns ranging in sizes up to 13 metres high will create the ultimate zodiac animal lantern experience at Circular Quay, from the Sydney Opera House to Overseas Passenger Terminal. Bring the whole family and get up close to these magnificent giant artworks.

Lunar Lanterns features new work by some of Australia's most exciting contemporary Asian-Australian artists including new lanterns by Qian Jian Hua (Pig at Sydney Opera House), Louise Zhang (Monkey), Pamela Lee (Sheep) and Laurens Tan (Ox).

Back by popular demand, the spiral pig lantern by John Deng from 2018 will return at the Overseas Passenger Terminal and don't miss a spectacular Light of Good Fortune Pig chandelier (by McDermott Baxter in collaboration with Matt Hou Him Lai and Jincheng Jiang) that will light up Pitt St Mall.


Lunar Spectacular Show

1 February at 7pm, 2 and 3 February at 7.30pm

Performers from a wide range of community groups will take to the festival's outdoor stage at the Overseas Passenger Terminal with traditional and contemporary performances including K-Pop, Japanese drumming and Chinese, Thai, Indonesian, Korean and Vietnamese dancers.


LED Lion Dances

8-9 February, 8.15pm-9.30pm

Set among the glow of the Lunar Lanterns, the illuminated LED lions and dragon come to life through slick and graceful movements that mimic the emotions of these mystical animals. Highly popular and enormously fun to watch lion dancing is thought to bring good luck and happiness while the dragon with its sweeping, wave-like patterns scares away evil spirits and promotes good fortune.


The Rocks Lunar Markets

1-3 and 8-10 February, 10am-10pm

Stroll down cobblestoned lanes as they come to life with the sights, scents and sounds of Asian street food. Discover unusual gifts for friends and family and see the market bursting with red lanterns, the colour for good fortune, as they line the streets.


Surf Lifesaving NSW– official charity partner

Over the 10 day festival, the pop-up beach will be a buzzing with activity, full of volunteer surf lifesavers, games, activities, prizes, a blow up ball pit and loads of giveaways. There will also be beach chairs and umbrellas for those looking for a place to relax.


Chinatown and surrounds

Chinatown Celebrations

1 – 10 February

Chinatown is the historical home and the cultural heart of the Sydney Lunar 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 a spectacular curtain of red, gold and pink Chinese lanterns suspended over Dixon St Mall.


Other highlights include the AYAM™ Zodiac Roulette, where you can discover your destiny dish and a personalised horoscope prediction and performances by an international delegation of visiting artists from Guizhou province in China sharing a broad range of traditional cultural performances on Saturday 9 February at 5pm.


Lion dance

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 1–3 and 8–10 February, 6pm–6.45pm

The whole family will be amazed by the lion dance performers who will bring drumming, splendour and humour to Thomas Street, Chinatown this Lunar New Year.


Dragon Boat Races

Saturday 9 February, 8am-5pm, Sunday 10 February, 8.30am-3pm

Watch the biggest dragon boat races in the southern hemisphere as more than 3,000 paddlers battle it out. Before the race starts on Saturday morning, Taoist monks will bless the water with a unique eye-dotting ceremony to ensure a safe weekend of racing.


Associated Events 1 – 10 February


More than 80 associated events across Sydney will offer diverse ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Highlight events include:


Art Gallery of NSW - Year of the Pig craft activity

3 and 10 February 2019, 11:00am - 3.30pm, Free (no bookings required)

Celebrate the Lunar New Year and make your own playful, paper pig. All materials and instructions are provided.


Chinese Garden of Friendship - Chinese Brush Painting

Sunday 3, 10 and 17 February, 10.30am - 12.30pm, 7-8 and 14-15 February, 2 - 3pm

Thanks to the Australian Chinese Brush Painting Society, enjoy an amazing talk and demonstration where they'll demonstrate their craft. You might even be lucky enough to get your Chinese zodiac animal painted for you.


Lunar Eats

Sydney has come 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.

Sydney Fish Markets, Lunar New Year Night Market

8 February, 4pm - 10pm

Experience the rare opportunity of enjoying Sydney Fish Market at night. Sydney Fish Market will transform into a bright, multi-coloured Night Market, with lanterns illuminating the wharf and boardwalk, and a range of delicious seafood delights on offer. Be enthralled by traditional Lion Dancers followed by Firework display after dark.


1-10 February

Bodhi will be serving up special vegan set-menus that showcase contemporary Asian inspired and pan-Asian cuisine, with dishes representative of prosperity, personality and luck taking centre stage. They will celebrate with a traditional lion dance performance at the venue. Bookings essential.

Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine

1-10 February

Celebrate the Year of the Pig with a curated special menu, $48.80 per head (min 4 people). Available during the entire Festival with a special in store lion dancing performance during dinner on 8 and 9 February!


For more information see and post and follow the conversation using #SYDLUNAR

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When: February 1-10,2018
Where: Sydney
Cost: Mostly free events, some require booking & cost
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