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Chinese New Year in Australia

chinese new year celebration in australia

Popularly known as an important holiday around the world with colorful decorations, parades, folk traditions, and a magical feast, the 2017 Chinese New Year, also called as the Lunar New Year or Chinese Spring Festival, starts on January 27, New Year's Eve. 

A large population of Chinese in Australia are expected to welcome the Year of the Rooster, which will begin on January 28, with sumptuous reunion dinners, ringing of bells, watching traditional lion dances and fireworks. The annual celebrations normally last around two weeks, thus making this the longest holiday in the Chinese calendar. 

If you want to participate in the celebrations, there are several things you can do to join the festivities and to pay homage to Chinese traditions.

Parade in style for the Year of the Rooster 

traditional colorful chinese lion popular during chinese new year in australia

While Chinese New Year is not proclaimed as a nationwide public holiday, nonetheless some Chinese businesses may be temporarily closed on the day or adjust their business hours to observe the festivities. So don't feel alarmed even if you see heavy traffic in some streets, where Chinese New Year celebrations are held. There's an amazing array of events and activities to observe this annual celebration in Australia and these include:

  • Street festivals, parades and ceremonies highlighting arts, entertainment and children's activities.
  • Chinese New Year markets promoting crafts, food stalls and arts.
  • Numerous people dance, sing songs and wear red costumes to welcome the Chinese New Year.
  • Amazing bright displays of Chinese lanterns, firecrackers and sophisticated fireworks.
  • Most Chinese Australian families celebrate Chinese New Year by meeting together for a festive meal, where certain and lucky dishes are prepared because of their symbolic meaning. The top 7 lucky foods to prepare and eat during  Chinese New Year are fish (for an increase in prosperity), spring rolls (wealth), tangyuan (sweet rice balls) for family togetherness,  niangao (glutinous rice cake) for a higher income or a higher position, dumplings (for wealth), and noodles (for happiness and longevity).
  • Children often receive red envelopes, popularly known as Hong Bao, Ang Pao, or Lai See, filled with "lucky money" and some written wishes to bring good fortune and prosperity.

Sydney Chinese New Year Festival

Celebrate one of the biggest Lunar New Year celebrations at City of Sydney's Chinese New Year Festival from January  27 to February 12.  This exciting arts Festival has a program filled with amazing exhibitions, entertainment and cultural events.

With more than  80 awesome events happening across Sydney, such as the very popular Dragon Boat Races,  tea ceremonies, exploring the moon at Sydney Observatory, lantern workshops, exhibitions and entertainment, this year's celebration marks the 21st birthday of the Sydney festival, which began in Chinatown and now expands to Sydney Harbour. Last year, it drew 1.3 million people making it the third largest annual event in Sydney, which has evolved into an internationally acclaimed celebration of Chinese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese culture.

If you are planning to visit Sydney to celebrate the new year, it's recommended you make a car hire in Sydney through VroomVroomVroom and immerse yourself in this vibrant city, as there's no better way to see Australia than by a car rental.

How do you prepare for Chinese New Year and what are the customs, traditions and beliefs that you follow? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.


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