Lunar New Year

Celebrate Lunar New Year in spectacular style in Sydney. The year begins on 25 January and the city hosts the largest celebrations in the world outside of Asia, with street parades, lion dancing, huge lanterns, pop up markets, art installations, dragon boat races and plenty of delicious food.

The Year of the Rat

2020 is the Year of the Rat. The rat is the first sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle, so 2020 can be considered a year of new beginnings and renewals. According to Chinese astrology, this year should be a strong, prosperous and lucky year for most signs, and it’s a great time to start a new venture or take up a new hobby.

Friends enjoying a night out at the Chinese New Year Lantern Festival 2018 at Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour, Sydney City

Lunar New Year in the city

Haymarket is the centre of Sydney’s Lunar New Year celebrations. The street party kicks off at 5pm on 25 January with live entertainment, roving performers, golden rat robots, games, lion dancers, markets and food trucks. At the nearby Chinese Garden in Darling Harbour there will be a special Twilight Garden Party from 6pm.

The fun continues in the garden for 16 days with calligraphy and lantern decorating workshops, meditation sessions, traditional tea ceremonies, musical performances and a closing ceremony on 9 February with a 15-metre dragon. Don’t miss the exciting dragon boat races on Cockle Bay on 1-2 February.

Lion dancer performing, Sydney during Chinese New Year in Chinatown, Sydney City

At Circular Quay, 12 huge lunar lanterns representing the animals of the zodiac will be on display from 31 January to 9 February. There will also be parades of bright LED lions and dragons on every weekend. Then head over to the lantern-strewn Lunar New Year markets at The Rocks to pick up gifts, jewellery, art and food.

Couple enjoying a night out at the Chinese New Year Lantern Festival at Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour

Lunar New Year in North Sydney

Chatswood is hosting a huge three-week festival to celebrate the Year of the Rat, featuring the Golden Market, traditional dancing and kung fu demonstrations, Chinese opera and a twilight parade through the CBD. There will be pop ups, performances and firecrackers at Luna Park alongside all your favourite rides.

Lunar New Year in Western Sydney

On 31 January there will be an evening of performances, rides, craft and fireworks at Chang Lai Yuan Chinese Garden in Doonside. Head to Cabramatta for family fun and cultural festivities from 8-9 February. The Georges River Council Lunar New Year Festival in Hurstville will be held on 18 February and attracts thousands of people each year.