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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, February 19, 2018

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Chinatown the cultural heart of Lunar New Year Festival

Chinese New Year Festival

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Chinatown will be at the heart of Sydney's 2018 Chinese New Year Festival, with the precinct set to come alive with a host of enchanting sights, sounds and taste-bud-tingling smells in celebration of the Lunar New Year.

From lion dancers to food and art tours across Haymarket, a variety of unique celebrations will transport visitors to the charm and magic of traditional Chinese culture.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Chinatown would bustle with cultural activity during the Lunar New Year.

"Sydney's Chinese New Year Festival is the biggest celebration of the Lunar New Year outside mainland China," the Lord Mayor said.

"This festival began in our city's Chinese community and the celebrations would not be possible without the talented local businesses and communities of Chinatown who remain the heart and soul of the celebrations, offering authentic internationally acclaimed experiences to visitors and Sydneysiders."

Highlights from Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown include:

Chinatown Lion Dances

Chinatown will be transformed into a thundering lion den in for the City's highly anticipated 22nd season of traditional lion dancers and red firecracker celebrations.

At 12pm on Friday 16 February, the Chinese gong and red firecrackers will echo throughout Sussex Centre to herald Chinese New Year's day.

Lion Dancers will weave good luck blessings throughout the shopping centre and the Chinese god of prosperity, 'Choi Sun', will be handing out red packets for a year of good fortune.

In celebration of the joyous atmosphere of Chinese New Year, be awed by Shanghai artist Fan Dongwang's towering yin and yang dog lanterns guarding the entrance to Chinatown.

The Dixon Street Chinese Committee will offer visitors a second chance to witness the red and gold sea of drummers, lion dancers and martial artists from 12pm-4pm on Saturdays 3 and 10 February and Sundays 4, 11, 18 and 25 February. Follow the performers as they spread the magic of the lion dance from Dixon Street to 12 surrounding streets in Chinatown and Haymarket.

Chinese Youth League of Australia

From opera to martial arts, the Chinese Youth League (CYL) of Australia will bring the folk traditions of China to Dixon Street with a number of free workshops and seminars for all ages including Tai Chi and Wushu.

Ring in the end of the Chinese New Year festivities with CYL's Cantonese Opera Demonstration and Seminar from 12pm-4pm on Thursday 1 March as the group celebrates 27 years of training upcoming Chinese opera stars.

4A Night Walk and Art Space

Explore Chinatown's local cuisine and public art from 6pm-8pm on Thursday 1 February with Sydney-based non-for-profit 4A, leaders in Asian contemporary art in Australia. Departing from 4A's studio on 181-187 Hay Street, this sunset tour of Chinatown includes a private tour of seminal Korean conceptual artist Lee Kun-Yong's exhibition 'Equal Area'.

Chase the neon lights of Chinatown at night to the strobe of underground club Dynasty Karaoke, where 4A will showcase a selection of leading Australian and internationally revered performance artists like Toyko's DEAD KEBAB.

Tickets for these one-night only events can be purchased for under $25 each on 4A's website.

Chindia: Short Films from the Diaspora

This cross-cultural exhibition 'Chindia' presents real-life experiences of Indian and Chinese diaspora communities, exploring national and cultural identity, politics and displacement.

'Chindia: Short Films From The Diaspora' presents a snapshot of complex social issues on screen from 6pm-8pm on Monday 19 February at UTS Library, Level 2, Ultimo Road and Quay Street, Haymarket. Two academics will host an open-audience discussion after this culturally rich short film.

Chinatown Banquets

Chinatown restaurants will offer a finger-licking selection of celebratory banquets.

Visitors to Eight Restaurant's Haymarket Chinese New Year Banquet can indulge in 12 courses of modern Chinese cuisine from 5:30pm-9:30pm on Friday 2 March. Reservations can be made trybooking.com/SQXK and are $88 per person.

For a taste of traditional China, Golden Century Seafood Restaurant will be fusing familiar and regional delicacies from 12pm-4am from 16 February to 4 March, with four variations of dim sum and a steamed sponge cake. Reserve seats at Golden Century Lunar Feats Good Event for $118.

On Saturday 24 February the Australian Chinese Charity Foundation and NSW Chinese Community's will host a New Year Celebration Dinner at Marigold Citymark from 7pm-10:30pm. Funds raised will go to Lifeline Australia. Tickets are $85 pp or $2,000 for a corporate table of 10 at accfnsw.org.

World Square Dragon's Tail Augmented Reality Experience and Red Treasure Hunt

World Square's signature dragon sculpture will come to life in the main courtyard of the shopping centre through a free augmented reality on your smart device.

Participants can follow the dragon on a red pocket treasure hunt that will reveal retailer offers and a chance to win weekly prizes.

All day from 16 February-4 March.

Sydney Chinese New Year 2018 celebrations run from 16 February to 4 March. For more information see sydneychinesenewyear.com

 

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