Lunar New Year in Sydney
Australia is a multicultural place, I grew up getting to experience so many cultures. With Asia just being across the ocean we got to be involved in so many traditions and festivals.
The Chinese New Year was always a spectacular event to experience from learning about it from my friends, playing homage to the multiple Asian Cultures at school and the celebrations around Sydney.
This year I was at home in Sydney just in time to be part of the Lunar New Year. I was so excited, even through I experienced the celebrations in London it isn't really the same thing as it is in Sydney. It needs celebrations in the sun and not in the snow. So come along with me as I get to rediscover Lunar New Year in Sydney.
Lets start with my first moment when I remembered the New Year was happening at the QVB- Queen Victoria Building.
When walking into the QVB I noticed in the middle of the building there was a blooming Blossom Tree but as you admired it and how perfect it fitted underneath the dome of the QVB you notice that the Blossom flowers begin to merge and change into little Pigs. It was the cutest thing in the world and the most perfect way to celebrate a New Year and the Year of the Pig. You could even sign a little wish for yourself and what you want for the Year of the Pig.
The heart of Lunar New Year begins in Chinatown where you can feast in one of the restaurants or taste what the food stalls have on offer as there are Night Markets in the evening at the end of the week. I was lucky enough to be strolling through Chinatown and I heard the beating drums of a dancing Lion. Following the sounds I was able to locate him with the trail of lettuce to tempt him into the shop to bless it but most importantly, I found him in a pub blessing the pokey machines by jumping up and tickling them.
During the New Year festival you can catch a few different Lion Dances across the city from Chinatown to Circular Quay and especially on the weekend of the festival. Have a look at the website closer to the date to find out where and when they will be shaking their tassles.
As you stroll into the city you will pass many amazing places to eat with Asian food so do treat yourself but you will also wander into World Square which has out done themselves with lanterns hanging from the trees and the most fabulous pig statues dancing their way through the New Year. They are so cheeky and fun it just made me so excited to celebrate the whole year. These were part of the sculptures dotted throughout the city that was part of the festival.
Head to Circular Quay for the creme de la creme of the festival in my eyes. The whole weekend of the festival The Rocks Night Market puts on a Asian treat with a huge selection of delicious food markets from Sushi, Stir-Fry, Gyozas (yummmm) and even Fairy Floss Pigs, your eyes will be too big for your stomach. There are little stalls to buy the nicest treats, a DJ booth playing great music as you dance underneath the red lanterns in honour of the season.
As you roll out of The Rocks you head to walk around the whole of Circular Quay as you take in the wonderful illumination sculptures Lunar Lanterns of all the Zodiacs from the bull to the horse to the tiger, dragon, rooster, monkey and the main event the Pig. I absolutely loved this in either the light or the dark it is the cherry on the top of the whole festival and I couldn’t get enough.
Throughout the weekend of the festival you can head to Darling Harbour which is more of a family vibe of the festival. Not only can you head to the Friendship Gardens but you can witness the epic Dragon Boat Race in Cockle Bay.
The Lunar New Year is amazing with something for everyone from Food Markets all over the city, Lion Dances from Chinatown to Circular Quay, Dragon Boat Races in Darling Harbour, sculptures from Green Square to Pitt Street, Tea Ceremonies, events at the NSW Art Gallery, overeating, dancing to the beat drums and the highlight being the Lunar Lanterns that light up the harbour shore. I can not wait to get back to Sydney for Lunar New Year and see what next they can do.
So here is to the Year of the Pig that brings wealth and prosperity. As the Pig is the 12th animal in the Zodiac there is a determination not to be last in the race so the need to push harder, I have a feeling this year will be wonderful and the Year of the Pig is pushing me to be the best that I can be this year!!!
Happy New Year!