Chinese New Year Festival

Chinese New Year Festival

Year of the Rooster

From Lunar Lanterns and Lunar Markets to lion dances and dragon boat races, get set to paint town the red for the Year of the Rooster.

Festival program

Year of the Rooster

More than a million visitors will enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Asia when the city comes alive for the 2017 Sydney Chinese New Year Festival from 27 January to 12 February. Sydney will strut its stuff and shake its tail feathers when it celebrates the Year of the Rooster in one of the biggest Lunar New Year celebrations outside Asia.

2017 marks the 21st birthday of the Sydney festival, which started in Chinatown and now extends all the way to Sydney Harbour. In 2016 it attracted 1.3 million people making it the third largest yearly event in Sydney, which has developed into an internationally renowned celebration of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Korean culture.

Festival highlights

Visitors will follow the Lunar Lanterns trail around Circular Quay from the Sydney Opera House to Dawes Point. Australian Chinese artists have designed 12 spectacular zodiac animal lanterns varying in size up to 10m high that will line the foreshore throughout the festival.

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

At Martin Place, the Westpac Lunar Lantern Hub will feature a 50m canopy of red lanterns, food, drink, The Star Fortune Mahjong Garden and nightly DJ and entertainment. On 3 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 and an opportunity for everyone to join together in an enormous singalong with 'massaoke'.

The final weekend of the festival on 11 and 12 February will feature the excitement and thrill of the dragon boat races. With origins dating back 2,500 years to ancient China, 3,000 paddlers will converge on Darling Harbour for the largest dragon boat regatta in the southern hemisphere.

Community performance program

More than 1,000 performers from Sydney's Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese communities will bring the city's streets to life with hip hop, children's performances, folk dance, martial arts, kung fu and traditional dance performances.

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

Associated events

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, and 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 and culture.

Post and follow the conversation #CNYSYD


Chinese New Year Festival
02 9265 9333

For media enquiries, please contact:

Elaine Kelly
Senior Publicist
9265 9201

Last updated: Friday, 27 January 2017