Chinese New Year Festival

Chinese New Year Festival

Expression of interest

We are now calling for expressions of interest for the 2018 Sydney Chinese New Year Festival.

Associated events

Year of the Dog 

The 2018 Sydney Chinese New Year Festival program will be launched in December 2017.

The Year of the Dog will be celebrated from 16 February to 4 March 2018.  

Year of the Rooster

More than a million visitors enjoyed the sights, sounds and tastes of Asia when the city came alive for the 2017 Sydney Chinese New Year Festival from 27 January to 12 February. Sydney strutted its stuff and shook its tail feathers to celebrate the Year of the Rooster in one of the biggest Lunar New Year celebrations outside Asia.

2017 marked the 21st birthday of the Sydney festival, which started in Chinatown and now extends all the way to Sydney Harbour. It has developed into an internationally renowned celebration of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Korean culture.

Festival highlights

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

The City collaborated 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 highlighted 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 featured a 50m canopy of red lanterns, food, drink, The Star Fortune Mahjong Garden and nightly DJ and entertainment. On 3 February, the hub hosted 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 featured the excitement and thrill of the dragon boat races. With origins dating back 2,500 years to ancient China, 3,000 paddlers converged 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 brought 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 entertained 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 offered 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 conducted the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House.

Pyrmont Bay Park was transformed into a pop-up food festival filled with Asian cuisine, live entertainment and culture.


Chinese New Year Festival
02 9265 9333

For media enquiries, please contact:

Elaine Kelly
Senior Publicist
9265 9201

Last updated: Monday, 18 September 2017