One thing is for sure; you don’t need to be Asian to enjoy the wonderful celebrations of Chinese New Year.
This year, 2014 is the Year of the Horse, and in the Sydney CBD there are countless events and activities to take part in and celebrate the Lunar Festival.
I attended one of the first events, the markets at Belmore Park, which is right near Central Station. There were many stalls selling delicious Asian foods, and I tucked into some delicious grilled baby octopus.
The entertainment is non-stop
Also at Belmore Park was a stage featuring a variety of Asian entertainment.
Alvin Quay bringing his personality and flair to a cooking demonstration
At the other end was a cooking demonstration by MasterChef finalist Alvin Quah. Alvin is always entertaining, and gives a sparkle to a basic cooking demo.
Rides for kids
There were also rides for kids and other stalls with traditional Chinese products and services, such as medicines and massages.
Chinese New Year in the Sydney CBD goes through to 9 February, with a huge array of events.
Performers getting ready
One of the highlights will be the Twilight Parade on Sunday 2 February that goes from Sydney Town Hall to Chinatown. It features colourful floats as well as dancing, singing and martial arts demonstrations; as well as a big Electric Horse, which promises to be spectacular. It’s all followed that evening by fireworks at Cockle Bay.
Other events for Chinese New Year in the city are Dragon Boat Races at Cockle Bay on the weekend of 8/9 February, and the glamorous Dragon Ball at The Star Event Centre on 8 February. The ball is a revival of a very popular event from last century
You can also see ‘Crossing Boundaries,’ an exhibition of work produced by Asian Australian artists, at Sydney Town Hall. Entry is free to this event.
Enjoy the great variety of Asian food during the New Year celebrations
Of course, Chinatown is a central hub of activity during the New Year celebrations, and the restaurants will be busy during the festival. As part of the ‘Lunar Feasts’ event, many restaurants are offering set-price meals.
There's always something to see and do during Chinese New Year
There are far more events, exhibitions, talks, workshops and other celebrations during Chinese New Year. Have a look at the website for details.
Happy Chinese New Year – Kung Hei Fat Choy.
Where: Various locations around the city, particularly near Chinatown.
Why: A fantastic celebration.
Cost: Varies depending on the event.
When: Until 9 February