Where to celebrate 2013 Lunar New Year in Sydney

Want to experience the fun and excitement of the Year of the Snake?  2013 Chinese New Year, Tet, Lunar New Year falls on Sunday, 10 February.  There are at least 12 celebrations held across Sydney, Parramatta in the west, Rockdale, Kogarah and Hurstville down south, Chatswood up north, Burwood and Ryde in the inner west, with the largest in Sydney’s CBD.

Dragon and lion dancing, visits by the god of wealth, art exhibitions, fireworks and of course, lots and lots of food – the noodlies video below, from the 2011 Lunar New Year Celebration in Hurstville, gives you a sense of the excitement and colour – that Lion Dance was breathtaking, one of the best I’ve seen.   To find out more about about the Year of the Snake and food you should eat for good luck, check out an earlier noodlies post on Lunar New Year.

Noodlies has compiled a list of the major Lunar or Chinese New Year, Tet festivals in Sydney below. Enjoy!

lucky chinese new year food

15 Jan-3 Mar
Hurstville, Lunar New Year Festival, Hurstiville Council
This Festival is first off the block with the main event, a Street Festival on 2 February featuring Dragon and Lion Dance, Street Parade and Chinese and Korean entertainers.  Other events include an Art Exhibition and Lunar New Year Concert at the Hurstville Entertainment Centre on 16 February.

1-3 Feb
Fairfield Showground, Fairfield, Tet/Lunar New Year Festival, Vietnamese Community
Organised by the Vietnamese Community in Australia (VCA), this is an annual fundraiser for them and the largest Vietnamese celebration in the state, attracting over 60,000 visitors.  Tet festivities extend over three days, including Friday and Saturday evenings.  Food is a major feature. This is the one to go to if you want to see how the Vietnamese celebrate new year – see noodlies video round-up from the 2011 Tet Festival below.

8-24 Feb
Sydney: Chinese New Year Festival, City of Sydney
In its 17th year, the Festival is organised by the City of Sydney and is by far the largest Lunar New Year celebration in NSW; from entertainment, arts, food, markets, tours and workshops.  Popular events include Dragon Boat Races, Chinese New Year Markets, Twilight Parade and Dragon Ball, a new event that recreates the premier event of the local Chinese community’s social calendar from the 1930s-70s at Sydney’s famous Trocadero, where Chinese girls made their debut and Sydney-siders enjoyed glamorous evenings of big-band swing, dancing, supper, cocktails and fancy frocks.

9 Feb
Saigon Place, Bankstown, Lunar New Year Festival, Bankstown Council
All of the traditional elements will be there including Lion Dances, lucky envelopes given by the God of Good Fortune, New Year card making, New Year flower making and Chung cake making classes. Calligraphy by the Learned Scholar and fruit carving demonstrations are always popular and intriguing the New Year Garden is expected to delight festival goers once more. Non-stop stage entertainment will reflect the diversity of the local community with a range of multicultural performances. Children will enjoy the magic shows, face-painting and other hands-on activities.

10-23 Feb
Eastwood Plaza, Eastwood Lunar New Year Festival, City of Ryde
The Festival is an equal partnership between the City of Ryde and local Chinese and Korean communities in Ryde.  The flagship event happens on Saturday, 23 February where a large number of cultural performances takes place at Eastwood Plaza. The popular Cooking Competition is held on Sunday 10 February.

15 Feb
Church St Mall, Parramatta: Lunar New Year Festival, Parramatta Council
Watch the Lion and Dragon parade, Chinese Acrobat, Lee Mohtaji, listen to Erhu Music and take part in interactive workshops including Chinese Calligraphy, Face Paining and Fortune Telling.

15 Feb 
King Street Place, Rockdale: Chinese New Year Festival, Rockdale Council
Workshops are on at the Rockdale Library from 12-15 February on Chinese Calligraphy, Chinese Drawing, Flower Arrangement and Author Talk.  The Festival goes from 4pm to 9pm with something for everyone from food stalls to lion dancing.

16-17 Feb
Cabramatta Freedom Plaza: Lunar New Year Festival, Fairfield Council
A lower-key event compared to the Council’s huge Moon Festival, this one has a Vietnamese flavour.  Festivities include cultural performances, food competitions, cooking demos, children’s entertainment, workshops and craft activities and martial arts.  A Buddhist Blessing Ceremony takes place on 17 February for world peace, harmony in the family and good fortune for the local community.

16 Feb
Calvert Street car park, off Illawarra Road, Marrickville: Lunar New Year Festival, Marrickville Council

Enjoy free entertainment; Lion and Dragon Dancing and a visit from the God of Wealth.

16 Feb
Chatswood Mall: Chinese New Year Festival, Willoughby Council
Chatswood Mall will be transformed into a festive path of good luck and fortune, decorated with lanterns, firecrackers and lucky scrolls to welcome the Year of the Snake. The Festival features up to 30 specialty stalls selling Chinese products, food as well as information and services.

16 Feb
Burwood Park, Burwood: Lunar New Year Festival, Burwood Council
Entertainment starts from 5pm and includes rides, stage and roving entertainment, face-painting, food and merchandise stalls. On stage entertainment will include traditional Chinese musicians and dancers. There will also be a visit from the Chinese God of Fortune as well as other crowd favourites, Lion Dancing and Fire Performers.

21 Feb
Kogarah Town Square, Chinese New Year Festival, Kogarah Council
Free entertainment starts from 6.30pm and Chinese culture is celebrated through music, dance, song, martial arts, giveaways and concludes with Fireworks at 8.30pm.

lucky chinese new year food 2

The fun is about to begin, which Festivals will you be going to?  Do you know of another Festival in Sydney to add to this list?

Please let me know in the comments section.