Discover the incredible sights, sounds and tastes of Asia across Sydney with a series of fully immersive experiences set to delight and captivate Sydney-siders this Lunar New Year.

From The Rocks, to Darling Harbour to China Town, you can expect to experience glowing lanterns, Lunar Markets, delicious food stalls, delicious food offerrings and incredible entertainment for a Lunar New Year celebration like no other.

We’ve compiled the best of the best across Sydney for you to work your way through, bite by bite.

LUNAR NEW YEAR ANNUAL LANTERN WALK

Guests are invited to explore and be delighted by the colourful lunar lanterns around Circular Quay and The Rocks as part of the annual Lunar New Year Lantern Walk. Discover 12 larger-than-life animal signs of the Lunar zodiac including the majestic Tiger at Bligh and Barney Reserve, or the fiery Dragon on the lawn of the Museum of Contemporary Art. In celebration of 2020 as The Year of the Rat, the Lantern Walk will be led by a brand-new installation curated by Australian artist and designer, Claudia Chan Shaw. Head to First Fleet Park and be captivated by a spectacular tower of nine, 2.8m tall, gold robotic rats, which symbolise great wealth and luck for the year ahead.

Continue your walk to Kendall Lane which will be transformed into its glowing alter ego, Lunar Lane. In a fully immersive takeover the laneway will be decked out in a riot of colour, light and cascading lanterns – perfect for snapping your Lunar Insta-moment.

EXPLORE AND EXPERIENCE THE ROCKS LUNAR MARKETS

After wandering through the Lunar Lantern Walk, visitors can make their way into the heart of The Rocks to explore and experience the Asian culinary delights and mouth-watering morsels on offer at The Rocks Lunar Markets. Prepare for a party on the streets and in your mouth with a range of exciting market stallholders to enjoy, surrounded by live music and lion dancing.  The Rocks Lunar Markets will be open each Thursday to Sunday from January 30 to February 9.

KOI DESSERT BAR & DINING

In celebration of Chinese New Year on 25 January 2020, KOI Dessert Bar & Dining is releasing two spectacular limited edition cakes.

2020 is the year of the rat. In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. To represent this, KOI created the “Wealthy” cake with pomegranate, hibiscus, vanilla, cherry and hints of gold.

The second cake created for Chinese New Year is a more literal representation of this year’s lucky animal. The “Year of The Rat” features Coconut, Jasmine, Strawberry & Almond flavours all within a cute cake complete with ears, nose and tail!

These limited edition cakes are available from 21st January 2020 until 9th February 2020.

Cruise Bar

From Saturday, 25 January to Sunday, 9 February 2020, celebrate Lunar New Year in ultimate style at Cruise Bar. Set amongst the iconic backdrop of Sydney Harbour and Circular Quay, dinners can choose from two exclusive menu options including an indulgent three-course banquet or can opt to dine under the stars while enjoying dumplings at Cruise Bar’s Dumpling Pop-Up Bar.

The three-course banquet

At Junk Lounge on Level Two, the Head Chef will be plating up an exclusively curated, three- course menu available from 5pm daily for just $59 per person + booking fee. The delicious menu is made up of a mouth-watering range of limited-edition dishes such as Kingfish with a Salty Black Bean Vinaigrette, Pork Char Siu with Plum Glaze and Shisho Chimichurri and Deep-Fried Ice-Cream with Strawberry Consommé to finish.

Keeping in theme with the Asian inspired menu, Cruise Bar’s expert mixologists will be serving up two cocktail specials available for just $15 each. For those with a sweet tooth, the Kiss from a Rose pairs seasonal lychee and rose essence flavours, while the Jack’s Apple packs more of a punch, combining Fire Whiskey with apple liqueur and hints of lemon and vanilla.

For dinner time entertainment, the lucky guests dining on the launch night (Saturday 25 January) will be treated to a traditional lion dance performance from 6:45pm – this is one not to be missed!

Book here: https://www.cruisebar.com.au/lunar-new-year/

The Dumpling Pop-Up Bar

For those after a more relaxed experience, Cruise Bar’s Level One Courtyard will come to life with a Dumpling Pop-Up Bar. Entry is free, with the delicious dumplings available to purchase from 5pm each day – the perfect idea for date night or a family-friendly night out!

The Galeries

This year The Galeries is celebrating the Year of the Rat with a selection of unique Lunar New Year offerings involving
food, art, traditional performances and live music.

  • An art exhibition of 12 exclusive LNY artworks by Illustrator, Chris Yee – consumers will have the opportunity to win this collection of good fortune pieces.
  • Clash of the Cuisines – food sampling & voting event hosted by Masterchef 2020 Judge, Melissa Leong featuring a live performance from Jaguar Jonze.
  • Bespoke dishes from foodie retailers including delicious bao buns, traditional Chinese Prosperity Salad and wagyu sliders.
  • Traditional Lion Dancing

WHERE: The Galeries, 500 George St, Sydney, 2000
WHEN: From Tuesday 21 January
For more information visit: https://www.thegaleries.com/#discover

Alibi

Usher in a year of great luck and good fortune, starting with your tastebuds this Chinese New Year! Because good things always come in pairs, enjoy double servings of Alibi’s iconic Peking D*ck Pancakes, BBQ Bao Buns and Fried Rice all plant-based and only $22. Double your luck with their recommended cocktail pairing, the Ground Control, made with limoncello, smoked green tea syrup and Tio Pepe sherry. Stop by the bar from January 26th to February 2nd because this Chinese-inspired plate will be offered exclusively for one week only.

Website:   alibibar.com


Aria

Celebrate the Lunar New Year in style with Aria’s limited-edition menu over the backdrop of Sydney Harbour. Inspired by red as a symbol of traditional Chinese New Year festivities, Executive Chef Joel Bickford has taken a spin on the standard menu to showcase prestigious ingredients for the occasion. Expect nothing less than luxury, including Oscietra Caviar, Abalone, Red Emperor, Maremma Duck and Gold Leaf. The six-course menu that will replace the standard tasting menu for the week ($260) has optional Prestige ($328), Classic ($128) or Non Alcoholic ($78) drink pairings and will be offered from 22 through to 29 January 2020.  In the spirit of the New Year,  guests who have spent over $500 will receive a $100 voucher in a red envelope, redeemable on their next visit to Aria, Chophouse, Chiswick or Bea.

Website: ariasydney.com


Bodhi

Bodhi, one of Sydney’s most established vegan restaurants, will be celebrating Chinese New Year with both a dedicated specials menu and a one-off celebration on Wednesday 29th January  involving a traditional lion dance performance at 7:30pm and a ‘hungbao’ fortune packet for each dinner booking. There will be a donation box available on the night, with Bodhi matching donations dollar for dollar and all proceeds donated to WIRES. Additionally, Bodhi will be serving a dedicated specials menu from the 25th of January to the 9th of February.

Website: bodhirestaurant.com

 

THE ROCKS’ RESTAURANTS

Making its way across the bridge is street food favourite, ZIZIME, offering customers their mouth-watering Korean style pancakes. They’ll also be dishing up their famous Big Toast, a three sliced toastie holding together a free-range omelette of ham, double cheese, jalapeno and fresh cabbage.  FIREPOP will be on site sparking joy with their delicious pop options, including lamb, tofu and eel skewers all sourced from local producers. Try the Golden Soytime, a skewer with lightly fried soft silken tofu, drizzled with sesame dressing and Sichuan chilli, or if you’re looking for a fan favourite, order The ‘OG’, with FIREPOP’s signature pasture-fed Aussie lamb and FIREPOPs original cumin dukkah and secret marinade.

Known for their legendary dishes, The Kraken Squid will be popping up offering a selection of tantalising seafood. Dishes include their tasty soft-shell crab burger, their classic salt and pepper squid with either the original, lemon and pepper, or Szechwan style batter. The Hopper Pan by Thatch’d Roof will also be found nestled amongst the busy laneways, offering Sydneysiders tasty Sri Lankan delights of hoppers, curry and roti.

Feeling thirsty? The Rocks Lunar Markets also welcomes the flavours of Bulb Soda who will be serving their lemonade and ice tea in glowing light bulbs, The Suga Cane will serve up their freshly squeezed sugar cane juice, and one of Sydney’s favourite bubble tea retailers, Spontané will bring all their favourite flavours including Banana Dan, Coco-Nuts and The Unmatchable Hulk.

Mr Bao returns to the Lunar Markets in 2020 with its pillow-soft steamed buns, fusing together Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine, and adding them to the iconic Taiwanese street food, Gua Bao. For traditional favourites, head to Let’s Do Yum Cha with its fresh buns and dumplings cooked on-site. For those who have always wanted to try the famous Japanese pancake, flavoursome Okonomiyaki, will be available across both weekends.

The beautifully fresh and ice-cold flavours of Yum Thai Juice Bar will offer Sydneysiders a refreshing sip with their real fruit smoothies including mango and lychee as well as their Thai-style ice drinks made with organic suva instead of sugar. To round out a day filled with exploring the flavours of Asia, head to Som Som Candy, where visitors can purchase specially crafted animal shapes created from cotton candy.

A number of The Rocks Markets weekly stallholders will be adding a Lunar New Year twist to their usual food offering during the celebrations. The Village Providore will offer its artisan fudge packs as dessert bento boxes and fudge noodle box gift packs, boasting new flavours such as Dragon’s Breath, a chilli chocolate fudge pop, and Lucky New Year, a dark chocolate fudge with a lucky gold coin inside.

For something a little cooler during the summer weather, visitors can grab Lunar New Year-inspired gelato flavours from lychee to coconut and everything in between at Giorgi’s Gelato. Alternatively, visitors can discover a variety of popsicles from Merry Pops’, with flavours including black sesame, pandan and ube.

If you are looking for the perfect gift to give this new year, look no further than the range of handcrafted and artisan boutiques throughout The Rocks, from jewellery to homewares. You can also find yourself a great deal at the T Galleria with a wide selection of designer colognes, handbags and perfumes!

This Lunar New Year, iconic venues at The Rocks will also offer a Lunar twist to their menus. Head to one of The Rocks’ newest editions, Sergeant Lok to experience the golden era of 1960s Cantonese cuisine with a modern spin. Located in the heritage-listed police station building, get ready for a tastebud explosion with a delightful and refreshing Cantonese menu, showcasing seafood and seasonal ingredients.

Tickle your culinary curiosity at Wild Ginger, where exotic Thailand meets modern Australia for a unique dining experience within the history-soaked sandstone walls of Sailor’s Home. Or, for a more street food-style experience, wander over to P’Nut Street Noodles to curate your own bespoke noodle creation. Select your cooking style, noodle type and your favourite ingredients, then watch them being freshly wok-tossed before your very eyes! Or, grab one of their 8 lucky specials for only $8.88! Specials include fan favourites – Singapore Street Noodles, Mongolian Stir-fry with Jasmine Rice, Wonton Soup, Chinese Fried Rice and more!

The Push will celebrate the Lunar New Year with a selection of limited-edition food and drink specials. The lunar menu includes Honey Soy Wings, Flash Fried Squid with Szechuan Pepper and Chinese Five-Spice, Pork & Prawn Dumplings, and Chinese Malaysian Satay Skewers – all perfect to share! Wash it down with their Lunar-inspired cocktail specials including the Green Sensei, Dragon Breath or Iroh’s Jade Dragon.

Thursday 30 January – Sunday 9 February, Thursday – Saturday 10am to 9pm

Jack Mundey Place, Playfair Street and George Street, The Rocks

NB: Food stalls will rotate each day of The Rocks Lunar Markets

One-weekend-only – Sunrise Skywalks for LNY at Sydney Tower Eye

Get ready to set your alarm clock, because for one weekend only – Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th January – Sydney Tower Eye will host a series of sunrise and early morning SKYWALK sessions to bring in the Year of the Rat (otherwise known as ‘Yang’) which symbolises the beginning of a new day!

The first 90 minute Sunrise SKYWALK kicks off at 5.30am and will offer guests the ultimate viewpoint of Sydney’s spectacular sunrise. Step out onto the outdoor platform at the crack of dawn whilst the city below sleeps, and absorb 360-degree views of Sydney and beyond as the first rays of sun emerge, making for the ultimate photo opportunity. You’ll also be joined by Caishen, the Chinese God of Fortune, who is said to bring good luck and wealth for the new year to the people he encounters.

Early morning SKYWALKS following at 6.00am, 7.30am and 8.00am promise to set the tone for the day ahead as you start your day on a high.

PLUS, the first 100 people to book in their SKYWALK during the Lunar New Year weekend will receive a limited edition LNY 2020 red cap as a memoir of their unique experience. Complementary Chinese tea will also be served to SKYWALK guests on the Observation Deck at the end of the experience. There’s limited spots available, so be sure to book online and secure your spot.

For those looking for a sky-high experience without the adrenalin rush, Lunar New Year celebrations continue indoors as the Observation Deck transforms from the 18th January – 2nd February to bring in the Lunar New Year with free activities, photo opportunities and giveaways for all:

  • Kick off your visit with good fortune with complementary lucky candy and fortune cookies with your ticket purchase on-site.
  • Meet and greet the God of Fortune during select times on the Observation Deck. Capture your holiday photo together against the stunning Sydney backdrop and receive your blessing of prosperity for the year ahead!
  • Test your fortune for the New Year with complementary red envelopes being gifted to guests from the 25th of January containing retail discounts and more.

This Lunar New Year, there’s something for everyone to experience at Sydney’s ultimate viewpoint. For more information and to book your Sunrise or Early Morning SKYWALK, visit www.sydneytowereye.com.au

 

EVENT DETAILS:

What: Lunar New Year SKYWALK

When: These special 90-minute LNY experiences will take place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th January at:

  • 5.30am – Sunrise SKYWALK
  • 6.00am
  • 7.30am
  • 8.00am

Usual SKYWALK sessions still apply, running between 10am – 6pm daily.

Price: $88 per person for 5.30am sunrise SKYWALK. $80 per person for early morning sessions (6.00am, 7.30am, 8.00am)

To book: https://www.sydneytowereye.com.au/tickets/sunrise-skywalk-tickets/

 

Spice Temple rings in Year of the Rat with fortuitous feast

Spice Temple is ringing in Chinese New Year with a fortuitous feast comprised of nine courses, each judiciously selected to signify good luck for the lunar year ahead.

 

Executive Chef of Spice Temple in Sydney and Melbourne Andy Evans, and Melbourne Head Chef Neisha Woo, have created a beautiful Chinese New Year banquet menu to celebrate the Year of the Rat, which is available from Monday, 20 January to Sunday, 9 February for lunch and dinner sittings.

 

Chef Andy says the exquisite menu is designed to promote prosperity, happiness, peace, love and other aspects of good fortune for the coming year.

 

“These are our most special dishes, which we save for a very special time of year,” he says. “The menu features ingredients and dishes that bring good luck and fortune, including our ‘Yu Sheng’ salad which guests are invited to toss with their chopsticks. The higher they toss the salad, the more good fortune will be bestowed upon them.”

The menu costs $99 per person, with matching drinks an additional $55 per person. (The wines below may change.)

財富 Wealth Pickled roma cherry tomatoes with dark soy, Sichuan pickled cucumbers and shiitake

繁荣 Prosperity Raw tuna ‘Yu Sheng’ with spicy orange oil and iceberg

幸福 Happiness Hunan-style soy beef and beetroot salad –  2017 Keller ‘Trocken’ Grüner Silvaner, Rheinhessen, Germany

幸运 Fortune ‘The most delicious dish under heaven’ – Pippies with pork and Shaoxing wine

长寿 Longevity Stir-fried spanner crab with leeks and mung bean noodles 2016 Barringwood Schönburger, Lower Barrington, Tasmania 金钱 Money Stir-fried wagyu brisket with lucky money dumplings and baby eggplant

和谐 Peace Roast pork belly with hot, sweet and sour sauce

复兴 Rejuvenation Stir-fried baby vegetables with ginger –  2017 Zweigelt Blend, Arndorfer ‘Vorgeschmack’ Niederösterreich, Austria

爱 Love Caramel ice cream with praline – 2008 Semillon blend, Les Carmes de Rieussec, Sauternes, France

KITCHENS ON KENT – THE LANGHAM

Kitchens on Kent at The Langham, Sydney is the ultimate when it comes to buffet style dining in Sydney. Not your traditional hot plate buffer, dishes are made to order and of the highest calibre. The must-dine staple on Sydney’s dining scene celebrates the auspicious arrival of the Year of the Rat with extravagant culinary festivities throughout January and February 2020.

 

With eight kitchens to choose from and cuisines from across the globe, the Lunar New Year banquet will take on a strong Asian focus starting on Monday 20th January through to Sunday 2nd February.

The indulgent spread will delight all guests from the free-range suckling spit-roasted pig, unlimited house-made Peking duck pancakes, Bao buns with crispy pork belly to a variety of steamed dumplings and Dim sum. Or why not go for the Chinese egg fried rice and barramundi with coconut and bok choi.

For dessert, expect a stunning display with over twenty-five puddings, cakes and sweet delights. For Lunar New Year, The Langham, Sydney’s Head of Pastry, Chef Prashanth has created not only those desserts loved by Kitchens on Kent guests, but has brought China to Sydney with a traditional selection from Cantonese-style meringue tarts, Horseshoe cake, Coconut Milk cake to Mango pudding.

The experience will be enhanced as guests are encouraged to Experience. Indulge. Celebrate to welcome in the Year of the Rat. Traditional Chinese Red Envelopes will greet each customer and fortune cookies will complete the experience with a sneak insight to the year ahead.

 

Times and pricing for Lunar New Year on Kent:

20th January – 2nd February 2020

Weekend Lunch
11:30am – 2:30pm
Saturday – Sunday: $98 per person

Lunch
12:00pm – 2:30pm
Monday – Friday: $68.00 per person

Dinner
6:00pm – 10:30pm
Monday – Sunday: $118 per person

Children: One price of $25 per child.

LUCK AND GOOD FORTUNE IN DARLING HARBOUR THIS LUNAR NEW YEAR

Discover the Moon Gates, Lunar Parties, Lion Dancing and Dragon Boat Racing

Experience the magic and excitement of 16 days of Lunar New Year festivities at Darling Harbour, Saturday 25 January to Sunday 9 February, the perfect destination to celebrate the Year of the Rat.

IMMERSIVE LUNAR NEW YEAR ENTERTAINMENT

Wander through Darling Square to find the Lucky Lunar Lamp Posts. The 10m-high lamp posts will form a grouped feature in the square and light up simultaneously throughout the night, creating the sensation of movement. Don’t forget to snap a selfie as you stroll through and receive good fortune for the year ahead.

Darling Square will also be home to the Lunar New Year Stage, a hub of entertainment and contemporary Asian music. The stage will pump out music from a wide range of bands, including party group, The Mandarins, and DJs, such as popular deck-spinner, Rainbow Chan, 2pm to 9:30pm on Saturday 25 January. On the same day, the Lunar Block Party, at the Pier Street Underpass, will be a one-stop dancing destination for all ages, with public workshops and dance battles supported by local DJs and MCs, 2pm to 8pm.

Continue celebrating Lunar New Year into the evening on Saturday 25 January at the Lunar Lanes Street Party. The laneways of Haymarket will come to life for an exotic night of street food, dancing, games and carnival rides. The lanes will be lined with hanging lanterns lighting up the night sky and traditional festoons. A range of international performers will take to the stage, including the Shaanxi Performing Arts Troupe from China, Seoul B-Boy crew, MB Crew, and Filipino-Australian band, Erween, against a backdrop of fireworks.

CELEBRATIONS IN THE CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP

The Chinese Garden of Friendship will be at the heart of the Lunar New Year celebrations at Darling Harbour, with a number of experiences on offer for visitors to enjoy. Celebrations begin with the Opening Ceremony on Saturday 25 January, 10am to 10:30am, with a traditional duel of Lion Dancing and drumming to welcome in the New Year. Tapping into tradition, guests will be handed a red envelope upon entry, with a chocolate gold coin and a lucky voucher enclosed.

Become the master of mahjong, 12pm to 6pm on Saturday 25 January, at the Mahjong Garden in front of the Chinese Garden forecourt. Later, head inside for the Twilight Garden Party from 6pm to 9:30pm, to be immersed in more new year magic, with special lighting, lunar-inspired music by local DJs, delicious cocktails from Lotus, and a surprise pop-up performance.

For those seeking clarity on the year ahead, Chinese astrologer, Mina Zheng, will conduct personalised Chinese horoscope readings. Readings will be available between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday 25 January and Saturday 1 and 8 February, free with Garden entry.

 

EXPERIENCES THE WHOLE FAMILY CAN ENJOY ACROSS THE 16-DAY FESTIVAL

Over the 16-day Lunar New Year celebrations, visitors will have the chance to see Lion Dancers and drummers entertaining audiences around Cockle Bay. Spectators will also see the power and spirit of the dragon come to life when the popular Dragon Boat Races make a return on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 February!

Dragon Boat eye dotting ceremony, Darling Harbour, Saturday 11th February 2017.
Photo by Damian Shaw / City of Sydney

For those looking to get hands-on with the entertainment, look no further than the Shadow Puppet Performances at the Water Pavilion.Guests will have the chance to create their own rendition of a traditional puppet show, 2pm to 4pm, on Sundays, 26 January, and 2 and 9 February

The Chinese Garden of Friendship will also host a range of interactive workshops. These include lantern crafts; the creative pit stop for little ones, and Tea Tasting by Topotea, where visitors will sample a wide range of traditional brews as well as watch a traditional tea ceremony. Lessons in Calligraphy and Chinese Brush Painting, as well as the Hopes and Dreams Bookmarks Station, will be available for the family to enjoy, with guests asked to write down their hopes and dreams for the year ahead and hang them from the garden lattice.

For further information on all Lunar New Year activity, please visit www.darlingharbour.com.

 

Ten Things to do at Chatswood Year of the Rat Festival

 

The three-week Chatswood Year of the Rat Festival is bursting with immersive and colourful experiences, designed to transport guests on a journey through Asia in Sydney’s very own Lower North Shore.

 

The Year of the Rat signifies the re-starting of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals and where better to celebrate than Sydney’s little Asia. Feng shui masters believe there is a giant dragon coiled around Sydney and its head is in Chatswood, which has made it a hub for the Asian community.

 

Ten must-try culinary and cultural activities to add to your to-do list include:

Follow your nose to auspicious and creative dishes at “Lucky Chatty” Lunar New Year Dinner (Wednesday 5 February). The festive menu has been specially designed by author, television presenter, and Chatswood resident Adam Liaw and General Chao’s executive chef Son Sewoo. The two have paired up for an evening of culinary flair inspired by their travels around South East Asia, Korea and Japan.

Count the 8,888 rats along the Chatswood Rat Attack trail through Chatswood’s CBD. The striking public artwork by Bruce Slorach features rat silhouettes adorned with custom-designed blue and white Chinoiserie-inspired print combining Australian and Asian flowers. Tag your photos with #chatswoodlny to join the digital trail.

Celebrate the first day of the lunar calendar with Kung Fu demonstrations, drummers and a dancing Buddha at New Year’s Day at The Interchange (Saturday 25 January).

Watch free up-and-coming Sydney K-Pop performances with SBS PopAsia host Andy Trieu (6-8pm, Thursday 30 January). The showcase will feature some of Australia’s favourite vocalists as they demonstrate why the craze has swept up both Asian and Western fans alike.

Take yourself on Adam Liaw’s self-guided dumpling tour through Chatswood at your own leisure. Follow along as Adam reveals his favourite spots to find dumplings, which are considered a fortune food due to their resemblance to money purses. Catch Adam in-person at the King of Lunar Celebrations from 6pm-8pm on Thursday 30 January, for an evening of auspicious canapés and conversation with Neale Whitaker.

Feast on ‘cheap eats’ from street food stalls at the Golden Market (9am to 9pm, Thursdays and Fridays). Take your pick of okonomiyaki, mee goreng, dim sum, zizime (Korean pancakes) and more.

Play Jumbo Mahjong with the locals at the Chatswood Interchange (9am-2pm daily from 27 January to 1 February). Whether you’re an amateur or an expert, you can try your hand with the beautiful red and gold tiles featuring the Chinese Zodiac animals and descriptions of their characteristics.

Be entertained by the ancient art of face changing and Chinese Opera at the Chinese New Year Celebration Day (Saturday 1 February). Welcome in the year of the rat at one of Sydney’s largest Chinese New Year celebrations, which is now bigger and better than ever with stages in the Chatswood Mall and The Concourse.

Reflect on the contrast between Chinese-born photographer Grace Sui in Sydney, and Australian-born photographer David Cubby in China. The two exhibitions Where it Shines by Grace Sui; and Everyday Dignity: Between the village and the metropolis of Modern China by David Cubby have been curated by the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture in partnership with Willoughby City Council.

Be mesmerised by some of the best lion dancers in the country at the Lunar New Year Twilight Parade (Saturday 8 February). The 1,000-year-old martial art of flamboyant and acrobatic performances wards off evil spirits, bringing good luck and fortune. Join the fanfare as the Chatswood CBD comes alive with a traditional Lunar New Year street parade.

For the full program visit www.visitchatswood.com.au/lny2020

WORLD SQUARE CELEBRATIONS

World Square’s annual Lunar New Year celebrations return with  a line-up of exciting specials from retailers at the Square.

Delicious food and drink specials at World Square during this year’s Lunar New Year celebrations include:

  • Din Tai Fung have created limited edition red and gold “Good Fortune” dumplings filled with wagyu beef and black truffle. Available from 23 January til 9 February
    • 5pc for $21.60, or $16.80 without gold leaf
    • 3pc available at café court venues $13.60 or $9.80 without gold leaf
  • Gami Chicken and Beer have banquet specials available
    • 6 Pax Banquet at $88 including a whole fried chicken, 6pcs wings, 6pcs mandu, corn cheese, seafood and spring onion pancake, fried rice and potato heaven
    • 4 Pax Banquet at $58 including a whole fried chicken, 4pcs wings, 4pcs mandu, corn cheese and fried rice
    • 2 Pax Banquet at $38 including half a fried chicken, 4pcs wings, 4pcs mandu and fried rice
  • Oh Matcha have created a special White Lotus Seed ice-cream available for $4.50 per serve

On Friday 24 January at 1pm, visitors are welcome to come and watch the traditional Plucking of the Greens and Lion Dance on poles to herald and celebrate the Lunar New Year.

The Ratrobats

To celebrate the Year of the Rat, World Square will present an artistic program that will take Lunar New Year celebrations to grand heights next year with the high-flying The Ratrobats.

Inspired by the ancient tradition of Chinese acrobats and performers, World Square has designed and created a troupe of eight larger-than-life ‘Rats’  that will show off their acrobatic skills from Monday 13 January to Sunday 16 February.

Internationally acclaimed cultural ambassador Claudia Chan Shaw returns to World Square to curate the 2020 Lunar New Year program following on from her popular debut, Three (Not So) Little Pigs, with the higly amusing and interactive display.

 

As an Associated Event of the Sydney Lunar Festival, World Square will also host an immersive augmented reality experience and a traditional lion dance on poles as part of their Year of the Rat celebrations. The mischievous Ratrobats will take pride of place at the CBD retail destination, standing in good company with other festival installations across Circular Quay and Haymarket.

 

The first of 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, The Year of the Rat is recognised as the start of the lunar calendar cycle with people born under this sign seen as optimistic, energetic and likable by all – much like World Square’s acrobatic stars.

 

Made from hard-coated sculpted polystyrene and dressed in brightly coloured costumes, each of the friendly 2.5m high ‘Rats’ appear in a different pose. While the Master Rat welcomes visitors to World Square, performing Rats are scattered across the precinct – see Red Ratty doing a handstand, Mr Whirligig balancing pinwheels The Juggler balancing on a unicycle, and The Daredevil suspended high above the Square.

 

Take a seat and get up close to one Mr Selfie to grab the perfect selfie to share on social or join in the fun and mimic the playful poses of The Twins. The cheeky Ratrobats will come to life in Augmented Reality on the interactive live screen from 31 January – that’s when the fun really begins.

 

Bringing good luck and prosperity to all, World Square will host the renowned Jin Wu Koon when they perform the traditional Plucking of the Greens (1pm, 24 Jan)  and traditional Lion Dance on Poles (1pm, 25 Jan).

 

An all-Asian affair, the culinary delights at World Square are also not to be missed, from Arisun and Abb Air Thai to Din Tai Fung and the Taste of Shanghai, visitors are spoilt for choice. There’s also Hokkaido Pafu, and new additions Gami Chicken and Yayoi so stay tuned for details of special retailer offers available during Lunar New Year.

 

Act One

13 January – 23 January

Live from 13 January, eight cheeky, talented acrobat Rats have made World Square their playground as they celebrate the Lunar New Year. 2020 is the Year of the Rat and this entertaining troupe invites you to join in the fun as they show off their amazing acts of balancing, juggling, and gymnastics. Be sure to share your moment on social with #WSqLNY20 and #Ratrobats

 

Act Two

24 January – 30 January

World Square will also host the renowned Jin Wu Koon which will bring on the good luck and prosperity when they perform the traditional Plucking of the Greens on Friday 24 January and traditional Lion Dance on Poles on Saturday 25 February. Plus, shop exclusive special offers for the week of Lunar New Year from 24 January – 30 January 2020.

  • Plucking of the Greens Friday 24 January 2020 at 1pm commencing in the Square
  • Lion Dance on Poles Saturday 25 January 2020 at 1pm in the Square

Act Three

31 January – 16 February

This is where the fun really begins! See yourself become a Ratrobat live in Augmented Reality on the big screen! Experience the Ratrobatic magic live on the big screen from Midday – 10pm every day.

World Square is proud to be an Associated Event of the Sydney Lunar Festival, which will bring together more communities than ever to celebrate. For more information visit the World Square website.

The laneways of Chinatown

The laneways of Chinatown will come to life for a dazzling night of stalls, concerts, street performances and free activities, kicking off 16 days of celebrations to mark the City of Sydney’s 2020 Sydney Lunar Festival.

For the first time, Lunar Lanes will weave through the streets of Chinatown to Darling Harbour on Lunar New Year’s Day, linking historic Haymarket with the new harbourside precinct.

More than a million visitors are expected to enjoy the sights, sounds and flavours of Asia during the City of Sydney’s Sydney Lunar festival from 25 January to 9 February.

As the biggest celebration of the Lunar New Year outside Asia, the festival welcomes tourists from around the world, as well as Sydney’s multicultural Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, and Malaysian communities.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said this year’s celebrations will feature close to 100 community events across Sydney.

“Over the years we’ve seen this festival grow from a small community festival in Chinatown to one of the largest lunar celebrations in the world,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Each year this festival just gets bigger and better. In 2019 the festival attracted close to 1.5 million people who spent nearly $42 million during the event. It’s a wonderful boost for our local economy, retailers and restaurants.

“We’ve put a lot of work into creating an exciting and diverse program, from our laneway party opening night to community dance performances, the dragon boat races in Darling Harbour and of course, the food, there’s truly something for everyone.”

“I can’t wait to again welcome residents and visitors from around the globe to Sydney for this community celebration, starting in Chinatown where it all began more than two decades ago.”

2020 is the Year of the Metal Rat, starting on 25 January. The Year of the Rat is the first sign of the lunar zodiac and heralds the start of the 12-year lunar calendar cycle.

Marking this auspicious year, internationally acclaimed designer Claudia Chan Shaw has created an eight-metre tower of nine golden rats. These will stand guard over Sydney Harbour as part of the Sydney Lunar Lanterns display.

Ms Shaw says her love of collecting toys and her own heritage inspired the towering lantern display.

“The busy, curious, gregarious nature of the animal provided the inspiration to present the rats as fun and cute mechanical wind-up robot-like creatures.

“Each rat is gold, to reflect 2020 as the year of the Metal Rat. For the Chinese, gold or yellow is the also the colour of heroism.

“I am also a collector of tin toys and robots from the 1950s and 60s, so to create my own robot rat is so special to me.

“I’m very proud of my Chinese-Australian heritage and I’m absolutely thrilled to have created this lantern for Sydney Lunar Festival. It’s wonderful to see the concept come to life.”

Sydney Lunar Festival curator, Valerie Khoo, said the event had a unique and welcoming appeal.

“The Sydney Lunar Festival has become such a popular and inclusive event for the wider community,” Ms Khoo said.

“Sydneysiders are wonderful in embracing the many cultures that make up this city. The festival is a brilliant opportunity for people to immerse themselves and enjoy the traditions of another culture and welcome others to our beautiful city.”

The Fred Hollows Foundation has been announced as the new charity partner for the 2020 lunar festival.

“The Fred Hollows Foundation is excited to be part of one of the most immersive and exciting events in Sydney,” said deputy CEO Nick Martin.

“In the Year of the Rat, we will continue our work across Asia, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and some provinces in China.

“We’re also engaging with multicultural communities in Australia to raise awareness of eye health.”

There are more than 95 events planned for the 2020 Sydney Lunar Festival celebrations. Highlights include: 

Lunar Lanes

Chinatown – Saturday 25 January, 5pm–10pm

Celebrations kick off on Lunar New Year’s Day when the laneways of Chinatown, Darling Square and Darling Harbour come to life with live entertainment, traditional celebrations, carnival games, art installations, lion dancing and market stalls.

Lunar Spectacular show

Sussex Street stage, Haymarket – Saturday 25 January, 5pm–8pm

The Lunar Spectacular Show will feature over 300 community performers ready to share their culture with traditional and contemporary dance, Korean drumming, Japanese hip hop and fashion shows. 

Sydney Lunar New Year Fair

Belmore Park, Hay Street, Haymarket – Saturday 8 February, 10am–4.30pm

Free multicultural carnival for the whole family featuring food and market stalls, amusement and performances. This event is created in partnership with TVB. 

LED lion and dragon dances

Haymarket – Saturday 25 January, 8.30pm–10pm

Circular Quay – Friday 31 January, Saturday 1 February and Friday 8 and 9 February from 8.15pm

Meticulously decorated with hundreds of LED lights, catch an electrifying LED lion and dragon dance performance. 

Lunar Lanterns

Circular Quay foreshore – Friday 31 January – Sunday 9 February

Discover 12 larger-than-life animal signs of the lunar zodiac. Delight in modern technology blended with classic techniques as these magical lanterns light up Sydney’s harbour. New lanterns to be debuted include Claudia Chan Shaw’s glowing tower of nine golden rats, Min Woo Bang’s pair of robotic Horses, Nancy Liang and Fiona Lu’s paper-folded rabbit and a chandelier-inspired rooster designed by festival curator, Valerie Khoo.

Lion dance program

Circular Quay foreshore – 1–7 and 10 February, 7pm and 7.30pm

Haymarket – 31 January-2 February and 7–9 February, 6pm and 6.30pm

With plenty of drumming, flamboyance and acrobatic skill, the City’s lion dancing troupes will ring in the Lunar New Year celebrations in Chinatown and around the harbour foreshore.

Dragon boat races

Cockle Bay – Saturday 1 February – Sunday 2 February

More than 3,000 dragon boat paddlers take to the water of Darling Harbour in colourful 12 metre-long dragon boats for this spectacular regatta – the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

 

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