Willoughby City Council’s Lunar New Year celebrations will return in 2021 to dazzle and delight with the Chatswood Year of the Ox Festival (3 February – 28 February).
Named after the lunar zodiac sign, the festival program will, for the first time, feature a comedy night, along with a series of COVID-safe events. At a time when travel is restricted, the festival will transport locals and domestic visitors on a cultural journey of food and entertainment with influences from China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, and other destinations.
“This vibrant festival will be a fantastic opportunity for visitors to show their support for local businesses and come together to celebrate the Lunar New Year. From tasting Lunar New Year delicacies to enjoying an array of cultural experiences and works of Australian artists, the festival is a great way to welcome the new year, especially after such a difficult 2020,” Willoughby City Council Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney said.
During the festival, Chatswood will be the place for meeting artists and performers, eager to share their culture, and make way for incoming good luck and fortune. The 2021 program includes:
- Lunar New Year Comedy (Saturday 27 February): For the first time ever, the festival will feature a comedy festival where some of Australia’s best acts will come together across two 75-minute shows. The special line-up of Asian-Australian excellence will be hosted by comedian and Lunar New Year enthusiast Jennifer Wong. Some of the hilarious comedians include Michael Hing, Diana Nguyen, Lawrence Leung, Lizzy Hoo and improv duo Fillow Talk with Happy Feraren and Jeff Messina.
- Chinese New Year Cultural Celebration Concert (Saturday 20 February): Welcome the Year of the Ox with a wonderful demonstration of culture at the Chinese New Year Celebration Day concert at The Concourse Theatre. Attendees will enjoy some of the best young musical prodigies from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Rising Stars at the Con Program, along with impressive martial arts demonstrations, traditional lion dancing, Chinese folk and classical music and contemporary dance hosted by SBS PopAsia host and martial arts expert Andy Trieu.
- Precious Treasures (3-28 February): An exhibition of painting, sculpture and installation curated by one of the most important contemporary artists of Chinese descent in Australia, Guan Wei. Presented at Willoughby’s Incinerator Art Space, the exhibition will showcase the works of six top Australian artists whose works have featured at prestigious galleries around Australia. The exhibition will have a cross-cultural theme, presenting each artist’s unique perspective which fuses Asian and Australian culture. Come and marvel at the works of Guan Wei, Amy Fu, Jason D Phu, Justin Qian, Yang Xifa and Louise Zhang.
- Golden Market (9am to 9pm, Thursdays and Fridays, plus Saturday 6 February): Meander through Chatswood Mall as it is transformed into a replica end-of-year market commonly found in cities across Asia, with 35 stall holders selling flowers, lucky bamboo, decorations, and delicious new year delicacies. Delight in the beautifully themed decorations and lanterns and enjoy browsing with peace of mind with strict COVID regulations.
During the month-long festival attendees will also have the opportunity to take part in food trails and be dazzled by lighting installations. The Council is closely monitoring government COVID restrictions and all events are produced according to guidelines, in order to keep attendees and staff safe.
For the full program visit visitchatswood.com.au/ox
Official hashtag: #Chatswoodlny