Sydney welcomes the Year of the Dog, 16 Feb - 2 Mar, 2018
Did you know that February 16th marks the New Year in the Chinese calendar? In 2018, it will be the Year of the Dog and the 15-day long celebration of the faithful canine, will take over the streets of multicultural Sydney.
Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, is becoming such a popular festival in the city's calendar, not only for families of Chinese origin, that we just had to bring you a list of ways you and your family can get involved in this joyous celebration.
The Art Gallery of NSW is offering FREE paper pup making craft activities for kids. With full instruction and equipment provided, this is an easy, fun and hands-on workshop to spark your child's interest in the Chinese New Year Festival.
When: Sundays 4 & 18 February and 4 March
How cute is this? Chatswood Library on The Concourse, will host Little Dragons Story Time in Mandarin. What a great idea for Chatswood's growing community of Chinese origin, many of whom have bi-lingual children. 35 tickets will be available 30 minutes before each session starts.
When: Mondays 12 February, 12 March, 9 April,
14 May & 18 June, from 10am
Many north of the Harbour Bridge would prefer to celebrate locally and Chatswood's community hub, The Concourse, is the perfect place. This mini CBD will come alive with a FREE daytime festival. Over 30 specialty stalls will sell Chinese products and food, with offers of retails and promotional gifts. The entertainment programme has something for everyone in the family, with Lion and Dragon Dancers, Chinese Kung Fu, a magic show, acrobats, folk dances and more. If you're coming from out of area, remember to catch the train. Chatswood station is just metres walk from the festivities.
When: Sat 24 February, from 10am - 5pm
Apart from being the original home of the Chinese family banquet in the Sydney CBD, Chinatown will come alive every weekend in the fortnight celebrating New Year. Chinese lion dancers will take to the streets with traditional drums, colour and spectacle, to the delight of passers by. Firecrackers will also be let off on these evenings, so it's the perfect opportunity to watch the parade, take in that aforementioned buffet feast and watch the crackers. And did I almost forget to mention? There will be two gigantic guardian dog lantern structures, by artists Fan Dongwang, guarding the entrance to Chinatown.
When: Every Fri, Sat and Sun evening during the festival, from 16 February - 4 March, 6pm - 6.30pm
This year's festival will kick off officially in the city, with the FREE opening fireworks display at Circular Quay.
When: Fri 16 February, from 5pm - 11pm
And from opening night, the 12 animal signs of the Chinese zodiac will be represented as larger-than-life Lunar Lanterns, including a giant, auspicious dog. On display at the Sydney Opera House Western Boardwalk, and illuminated from dusk each day, these FREE installations will offer a touch of Vivid in summer. If you have kids, you won't want to miss this display.
When: Daily from Fri 16 - Sun 25 February
Apart from Chatswood, Eastwood is home to one of the most thriving Asian communities in Sydney. Therefore, it seems only fitting that this vibrant suburb would be hosting one of the best parties to mark the occasion. All the action will be happening at Eastwood Plaza.
To bring in the festival, local chefs will compete for 'Best Dish of the Day' in a Chinese Cooking Competition.
When: Sat 17 February, from 10.00pm - 1.30pm
For foodie families who just love Asian street food, it's time to get excited about the Lunar New Year Night Markets with yummy food stalls.
When: Sat 24 February, from 4pm - 10pm
The Plaza will be sending 2018's Lunar New Year festivities out with a bang. The Grand Celebration Day will host food and market stalls, music and dance performances, martial arts, dragon parade, lion dance, fire crackers and a visit from the God of Wealth. 2018 could be your lucky year, especially for those born under the zodiac sign of the dog.
When: Sat 3 March, from 11am - 4pm
Sydney's favourite amusement park is celebrating New Year from Friday 16 Feb - Sun 18 February, with FREE entry. Apart from the rides and sideshow games (for which you can purchase unlimited passes), the park will play host to traditional Chinese New Year lion dance performances, fire cracker displays and a dumpling pop-upstand, by the harbour. Loads of fun and YUM.
What will you be doing to celebrate this amazing festival? It's a tremendous opportunity to introduce your children to a different culture and its spectacular New Year rituals. Sydney Mums Group would love to hear from you on activities celebrating the Year of the Dog, in your local community, so Join the Conversation...