Lions Roam The Streets of Sydney

03 Feb 2015

Chinese New Year Dragon Gala

Don't be surprised over the following weeks if you find lions roaming the Sydney streets. From the 13 February, Sydney-siders will be celebrating Chinese New Year. One of the biggest attractions of Sydney festivities is the fact that it is one of the largest Chinese New Year festivals to be held outside of China. Despite possible sightings of lions and dragons, residents and visitors will come together for a month-long program of events to celebrate the Year of the Sheep.

Beginning on Friday 13 February at Dawes Point, the Festival launch marks the beginning of over 80 free and ticketed events across the city. The Festival runs until Sunday 1 March and offers a fantastic range of family friendly activities and events in various locations across Sydney. All across Sydney, restaurants are offering delicious food with set price meals thanks to the return of Lunar Feasts. There's also the Dragon Boat races at Cockle Bay, where teams of 20 paddlers will battle it out on the water.

The festival culminates in the Twilight Parade, a signature event that illuminates the streets of Sydney with a procession of programmed entertainment, community groups and floats that weave their way through the streets of Sydney and past excited onlookers. Ornately decorated lion costumes will be donned by acrobatic performers as they make their way through the crowds at many of the festivities to summon good fortune and luck and express joy. A 1,000 year old tradition, lion dancing is a proud ritual which has been upheld throughout the 19 year history of the Chinese New Year festival.

The year of the Sheep is said to be particularly lucky as it is the eighth sign in the Chinese zodiac, a lucky number for the Chinese. Those born in the Year of the Sheep are said to be creative but shy, indecisive but clever and polite, gentle and compassionate, fond of the quiet life. These are all characteristics which are set to be celebrated in the Twilight Parade. With 2015 as the Year of the Wooden Sheep, the parade also intends to celebrate thoughtfulness, generosity and high morals, all of which are characteristics of Sheep under the influence of the Wood element.