Shake A Tail Feather For The Year Of The Rooster

More than a million visitors will enjoy the sights, sounds & tastes of Asia when the city comes alive for the 2017 Sydney Chinese New Year Festival from the 27th of January to the 12th of February.

Sydney will strut its stuff & shake its tail feathers when it celebrates the Year Of The Rooster in one of the biggest celebrations of the Lunar New Year outside of Asia.

City Of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said the Festival has developed into an internationally renowned celebration of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai & Korean culture.

“Chinese astrology predicts that the Year Of The Rooster will be a powerful one & as it’s our 21st birthday, we really have something to crow about” said the Lord Mayor.

“From its humble beginnings in Chinatown, the Festival now extends all the way to Sydney Harbour & last year attracted 1.3 million people, making it the 3rd largest annual event in Sydney”

“Featuring the Lunar Lanterns & 80 traditional and contemporary events across Sydney, the 2017 Lunar New Year celebrations have something for everyone”

Visitors can follow the Lunar Lanterns trail around Circular Quay from the Sydney Opera House to Dawes Point. 12 spectacular zodiac animal lanterns, designed by Australian-Chinese artists & varying in size up to 10 metres high, will line the foreshore for the entire 17 day festival”

Festival Curator, Claudia Chan Shaw. said the Lunar Lanterns walk will create a vibrant precinct around the harbour for visitors & families to explore.

“Following the enormous success of last year’s inaugural Lunar Lanterns exhibition, in 2017 we will introduce several new lanterns that will amaze & delight visitors” Claudia said.

“And being the Year Of The Rooster – an animal that loves being the centre of attention – there will be 2 hero Rooster lanterns, one at the Sydney Opera House and the other in the Festival’s cultural heart in Chinatown”

The City will collaborate with principal partner, Westpac, in lighting Sydney’s most famous landmarks in auspicious red for 3 nights to welcome the Year Of The Rooster from the 27th to the 29th of January. Painting The Town Red will highlight the sails of the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay Railway Station, Sydney Town Hall & other Sydney landmarks.

Bernadette Inglis, Westpac’s General Manger For Retail & Premium Bank, said Westpac is excited to partner with the City Of Sydney for the 2nd year in a row to celebrate Lunar New Year.

“Westpac is thrilled to support the Lunar New Year celebrations & to recognise the incredible contribution the Chinese community makes to Australia. The Chinese community remains one of Westpac’s largest multicultural audiences. We are looking forward to seeing iconic Sydney landmarks lit up in red” said Ms Inglis.

At Martin Place, the Westpac Lunar Lantern Hub will feature a 50-metre canopy of red lanterns, food, drink, The Star Fortune Mahjong Garden & nightly disc jockeys and entertainment.

On Friday the 3rd of February, the Hub will host a party to mark the 21st birthday of the Festival in Sydney with lion dances, community dance performances, live music & an opportunity for everyone to join together in an enormous sing-along with ‘massaoke’.

More than 1000 performers from the Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese & Japanese communities from across Sydney will bring the City’s streets to life with hip hop, children’s performances, folk dance, martial arts, kung fu & traditional dance performances.

The popular community performance program will entertain audiences with pop-up style performances throughout the Festival on Friday & Saturday evenings in Customs House Square & Martin Place with more performances celebrating the Festival in Chinatown.

More than 80 associated events across Sydney will offer diverse celebrations of the Lunar New Year from singing karaoke at the top of the Harbour Bridge, to tea ceremonies, exploring the moon at Sydney Observatory, lantern workshops, photography exhibitions & renowned composer Tan Dun conducting the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House.

Pyrmont Bay Park will be transformed into a pop-up food festival filled with Asian cuisine, live entertainment & culture.

The final weekend of the Festival – Saturday the 11th & Sunday the 12th of February – will feature the excitement & thrill of the dragon boat races. With origins dating back 2500 years to ancient China, 3000 paddlers will converge on Darling Harbour for the largest dragon boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Roosters are always active and happiest when surrounded by others & the 2017 festival will reflect this spirit with visitors able to enjoy a packed calendar of events, exhibitions, community performances, film screenings, tours, talks and delicious food” said Miss Chan Shaw.

“Sydney’s 21st Chinese New Year Festival will be lively, colourful, noisy & exciting – a dazzling celebration of culture, heritage & inspiring artistic talent that provides an opportunity to make your Lunar New Year experience as traditional or contemporary as you want”

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Media Release: City Of Sydney