Free concerts, lion dance workshops, roving street performances, exhibitions, tours and sumptuous restaurant feasts are just some of the attractions on offer as Sydney gets set to celebrate the Year of the Ox.
More than 80 events will take place from 12 to 21 February marking the City of Sydney’s 2021 Sydney Lunar Festival celebrations.
Launching this year’s program, Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Covid-safe festivities were a chance to attract people back into the city and support local businesses impacted by the pandemic.
“We were in the midst of last year’s Lunar New Year celebrations when the pandemic first hit Sydney. Almost overnight, Lunar New Year events and businesses in Chinatown and surrounds were greatly impacted,” the Lord Mayor said.
“This Lunar New Year we’re welcoming people back to the city centre with Covid-safe events, colourful decorations and roving performances that celebrate our multicultrual community while supporting local businesses.
“We have also supplied close to $180,000 in additional grants and sponsorship to directly support creativity and culture.
“Our festival is the largest celebration of the Lunar New Year outside Asia. For decades, this unique and internationally recognised event has played a vital role in unifying Sydneysiders, strengthening our cultural relationships and supporting local businesses of all sizes.
“It’s also a wonderful way to showcase our city’s artists, entertainers and cultural groups. The Sydney Lunar Festival brings the community together to celebrate and put our beautiful city centre stage.”
On Saturday 13 February, the City of Sydney is staging three, free one-hour Lunar Spectacular shows at Lower Town Hall, Sydney Town Hall.
Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Indonesian performers will share their culture, with traditional and contemporary song, dance and music. Expect to see Japanese drumming, K-pop routines, Chinese folk dancing, fashion shows and more.
Covid-safe measures will be in place and bookings are essential.
OzHarvest has been appointed official charity partner for this year’s event. CEO Ronni Kahn AO said the City of Sydney and OzHarvest have been working together to supply food to vulnerable Sydney communities.
“We are deeply grateful for the unwavering support from City of Sydney, which allowed us to respond quickly to the dramatic rise in need for food relief in the last year,” Ms Kahn said.
“With their support we have delivered over 100,000 hampers at pop-up hubs across Sydney and opened a new OzHarvest Market at Waterloo feeding people in need across many different communities.”
City of Sydney councillor Robert Kok joined the Lord Mayor at the Chinese Garden of Friendship to unveil the 2021 Sydney Lunar Festival Program. He said the Year of the Ox was traditionally welcomed as a year of prosperity.
“2021 is the year of the Metal Ox. Astrologers say this animal zodiac brings success in business and careers and delivers wellness for all. That’s sure to be welcome news for our great city, for our residents, visitors and businesses,” Councillor Kok said.
For the full festival program and to make bookings for everything from a cocktail and dumpling masterclass to tours of the Sydney Opera House in Mandarin, visit the City of Sydney’s What’s On website.
All events will follow Covid-safe regulations. Guests are reminded to follow the latest NSW Health advice on social distancing, hygiene and staying home if unwell.