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Year of the Rabbit Celebrations at South Eveleigh

Home > Sydney > Chinese New Year | Exhibitions | Festivals | Performing Arts | Workshops
by Irenke Forsyth (subscribe)
A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at
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Lunar New Year festivities are taking over Sydney and 2023 ushers in the year of the rabbit in style with celebrations aplenty. Just 3kms from the CBD, you'll find South Eveleigh with a schedule of cultural performances and activities, amongst themed food and cute bunnies.

Lunar New Year, lion dancing, South Eveleigh
A high energy performance not to be missed

Here's what you can enjoy:-


A lion dance is synonymous with lunar new year celebrations and this one on poles takes it up a level at Innovation Plaza from 1pm on 22 Jan. Performed by renowned dance troupe Jin Wu Koon, you can expect a high-energy and awe-inspiring sight with lions jumping on poles up to 3m high and 2m wide, backed up by the sounds of drums, cymbals and gongs synchronised to the lion's dance and rhythmic movements.

Following on from the above is a spectacular Korean fan dancing performance at 2pm and, then at 3pm, take in the vibrant combination of upbeat K-pop dancing and Korean drumming.

Lunar New Year, Korean dancing, drumming, South Eveleigh
Dancing and drumming, Korean style

On 24 Jan (11.30am-1.30pm) the lions reemerge, but this time it's in a special Plucking of the Greens procession as they shower luck on the retailers along Locomotive St and Central Ave in South Eveleigh.

Taiko drumming is a big part of Japanese culture and if you're interested in listening to some strong beats and moves then head back to Innovation Plaza on 1Feb (at noon) for a performance delivering a style that is quite different to western techniques.


The tradition of lantern-making in Asia has been passed down over many generations, with the first paper lanterns being made over 2,000 years ago, and in a 1hr lunar lantern-making workshop you can construct your very own unique and sustainable lantern made from recycled materials and plant offcuts. Turning trash into treasure and prosperity, it's suitable for young and old to participate and takes place on 22 Jan with sessions from 11am-4pm at 107 Projects in Redfern. You can book your tickets here.

Lunar New Year, lantern making, South Eveleigh
Get crafty turning trash into treasure

On 25 Jan, children can partake in a lion dance workshop that provides fun as it integrates storytelling with a short 10-step routine. Concepts of teamwork, strength, wisdom and bravery are introduced, along with explanations of the origins of lunar new year celebrations and the significance of cultural diversity. Afterwards, children are invited to perform in pairs in a live performance. With a choice of two 45min sessions (10am & 10.45am), you will need to book in for this one taking place at the Interchange Pavilion on Davy Rd in Eveleigh.

Rabbit Petting Experience

Lunar New Year, rabbit petting, South Eveleigh
Snuggle up with cuteness

The young ones will love getting up close for a petting with real bunnies and they in turn love to snuggle up and keep warm in your lap. You can find them at Eveleigh Green (11am-1pm) in Henderson Rd on 21 Jan, 28Jan & 4 Feb.

Lunar Dishes

While you're out and about be sure to indulge in some specially curated lunar delights, whether it's for dine-in or takeaway. Lucky Kwong, Eat Fuh, Pepper Seeds 'Boutique Thai Bites' and Anita Gelato are all participating, as well as many more.

Grab specialities, that include a lucky duck set and a blood orange sorbet (with a red cone), from 22 Jan-27 Jan (closed Australia Day) and then 30 Jan-5 Feb. You can find them on Locomotive St.

Lunar New Year, Pepper Seeds Boutique Thai Bites, South Eveleigh
The Lucky Duck Set from Pepper Seeds 'Boutique Thai Bites'

Other Events

Lunar New Year overlaps this year with NSW School Holidays, Australia Day and Sydney Festival. Two events coincide in South Eveleigh with the year of the rabbit celebrations - a kids heritage tour and an exhibition around the work of artist Jenny Kee.

From 21-25 Jan (11am-2pm), join the free school holidays kids heritage tour that celebrates the rich history of South Eveleigh and the Locomotive Workshop. It's a fun family activity where you explore exhibitions in the former Blacksmith Bays to find answers to quiz questions and imagine what life was like for the workers. There's also interactive touch screens to learn about steam power and the trains of Eveleigh and experience the history of the site through virtual reality stations.

Lunar New Year, Eveleigh workshops, South Eveleigh
The trains of Eveleigh

Artefacts recovered from the site are on display alongside photos of workers in action and there may also be an opportunity to watch the resident blacksmith using original machinery and ancient techniques.

Upon entry in Locomotive St, be sure to pick up a copy of the South Eveleigh Gazette as it has all the activities in it for you to complete.

From 5-29 Jan, you can marvel at the colourful squiggly duo sprouting up in Innovation Plaza as part of the 'Jenny Kee: The Aunties' exhibition. The Sydney Festival installation is a bold new interpretation of Jenny's most recognisable work and from 21-29Jan it will be illuminated in red for the lunar new year festivities.

Lunar New Year, Jenny Kee, art installation, South Eveleigh
Jenny blending in well with her art installation

For further detail on all of the above items, visit the dedicated website here.

Getting there

South Eveleigh sits on the fringe of the city and is a stone's throw away from Redfern train station. It is also within easy walking distance of Sydney University and UTS Sydney.

There are direct bus links from the CBD and Marrickville Metro too, which stop on Henderson Rd in front of South Eveleigh.

Cycling is another good way to get there with bike racks located throughout Innovation Plaza, in front of all buildings, right down to the skate park.

For those driving, there is a public car park available at 2 Central Ave, Eveleigh.
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Phone: 02 8398 5710
Cost: Entertainment is free, small cost for workshops
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