Where To Celebrate Lunar New Year In Sydney

Nicki Alchin
26th Jan 2017
Cock a doodle doo! Yes, 2017 is the Year of The Red Fire Rooster. New Year celebrations begin on January 27th (this being the day of the second new moon after the winter solstice in China and the first day in the Chinese Lunar calendar), and celebrations will run till February 12th.  
The history of bringing in the New Year with firecrackers, red lanterns and scrolls hung throughout a village harks back to a folktale that tells the need for scaring off a mythical lion to save the lives of villagers. Firecrackers are an obvious choice. The reason behind hanging decorations is more about the colour than anything else - it is said that the lion is scared of red. It is now your turn to join in the fun of events to frighten away the lion and his bad luck to allow a clear path for good luck in 2017. 
As usual, with its burgeoning Chinese community, Sydney has an array of Chinese New Year events to attend. I have chosen five that you will find hard to resist.   
1. The Light of Dawn - Year of The Rooster BLOCK PARTY - Kensington Street, Chippendale 
Nicky Ginsberg, Creative Director at Lexington Street, Chippendale is the driving force behind this street-wide celebration running from 3pm to 8pm on February 4th. Partnerships have been forged with the China Cultural Centre Sydney, the Sichan Department if Culture, City of Sydney and the Australian Chinese Performing Artists Association to bring together a colourful carnival atmosphere. 
Cooking demonstrations will be performed by Chefs Gallery. This will be matched with a range of culinary delights from the various Kensington Street vendors including Holy Duck! Automata, Kakawa Chocolates, Bistro Gavroche, Kensington Street Social, plus many more. Entertainment will also be provided. Travel to a recreated Chinese market to experience shadow puppetry, calligraphy,  Chinese silent films, two children, fortune telling, and listen to live music. The Lion Dance Team is also making an appearance along with a silent sounds disco that will showcase modem Chinese house music. 
2.  Dragon Boat Racing Meet - Darling Harbour
The dragon boat tradition originated in Southern China as a way to guarantee good rainfall for farmers. Today, dragon boat racing is a fierce fast paced water sport and a special meet has been organised to help celebrate Chinese,New Year.
Over two days 3,000 dragon boat teams from all over will be competing to be the champions at the largest meet in the Southern Hemisphere. Corporate and celebrity teams will also be battling it out in a separate competition.
Be at Darling Harbour on February 11th from 8am to 5pm (traditional Taoist eye dotting ceremony and main race day) and February 12th from 9am to 3pm (corporate, and charity celebrity races). 
3. Sydney Morning Herald Lunar Markets
There is no doubt that the Chinese culture has a focus on preparing and eating delicious dishes. This is celebrated at the Sydney Morning Herald Lunar Markets being held at Prymont Bay Park January 27th to February 5th from 5pm to 10pm weekdays, 4pm to 10pm Saturdays and 4pm to 9pm Sundays.  Expect loads of stalls selling yummy Asian fare, plenty of bars and live music. 
More information: 
4. Chinatown Lion Dances
This event is where you can fully immerse yourself in the big bangs of drums, fire crackers, and a flamboyant display of lion dancing. 
It all begins on February 27th, and  then running every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday till February 12th. Performances are held in Chinatown running for 10 minutes, twice in one night with a start time of  6pm and then again at 6.30pm. On Fridays you can also enjoy the vibrant Chinatown Markets from 4pm to 11pm.
5. Sydney CNY Festival 21st Birthday
Two  nights from 5pm to 10pm, you can enjoy all ages free entertainment including karaoke. On Friday 3 February the 2WSFM morning crew Jonesy and Amanda lead a Massage. This big sing along can be enjoyed by all. Other celebrities lincluding Adam Liaw, will be there to help with the festivities. On Saturday, February 4th the fun continues. 
SBS PopAsia's Andy Trieu and Natalie Tran will be taking over. Expect a big night of K-Pop, J-Pop and C-Pop Massaoke. A quiz show will also go ahead with MyChonny and Joe hosting. Rainbow Chan and Adam Liaw will also be in attendance.