Sydney Opera House Welcomes In Year Of The Rabbit & Cat With 10th Anniversary Illumination

Last night from 8:40pm, the Sydney Opera House was lit up red in its annual traditional illumination to celebrate Lunar New Year.

Red is chosen as it is regarded as a symbol of good fortune and luck.

First lit up in red in February 2013 for Chinese New Year, the illumination’s presence saw the City Of Sydney’s Chinese New Year celebration, which had started in 1996, expand, peaking in 2017 with the included additions of a Sydney Harbour Bridge red (pink as well in 2019) illumination amongst other city landmarks and a fireworks display in Circular Quay to coincide with the beginning of the illuminations. The event was renamed Sydney Lunar Festival in 2019, to take into account non-Chinese celebrations of Lunar New Year & the expansion was suddenly dropped in 2020 and is now held at just below its pre-2013 scale, which it has been ever since. However, the Sydney Opera House red illumination, which is independent of the City Of Sydney event, remains. Lunar New Year in Sydney, nevertheless, was and still is the biggest celebration of the event outside of Asia – a feat that should not be ignored.

Lunar New Year last 15 days from the 1st new moon of the lunar calendar until the 2nd next full moon. The 2023 Lunar New Year celebration began on Sunday the 22nd of January and will end on Monday the 6th of February.

The NSW Government has been joining communities across the state to celebrate this significant cultural event for more than a decade.

While Lunar New Year is significant to many across the state, it also represents much of what we all stand & hope for in a new year, especially new beginnings.

To everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year, I wish you all prosperity, good health and fortune for the year ahead.

Dominic Perrottet, Premier Of NSW

You will be hard-pressed to find such rich diversity proudly championed and celebrated like it is in NSW.

It is about showing communities and the world that we welcome everyone and value our diversity.

I wish everyone a prosperous and happy Year of the Rabbit & for those from a Vietnamese background, a very happy Year of the Cat.

Mark Coure, Minister For Multiculturalism