#CNYSYD: Chinese New Year 2017

Posted on March 09, 2017

Hi everyone, 新年快樂! This is the first time I'm celebrating Chinese New Year away from my family and friends. However, that does not stop me from making this joyous occasion into another memorable one. Lucky for me, Sydney had many events installed specially for the Lunar New Year.


Chinese New Year is the celebration of the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. This day is also known as the Spring Festival (春節) or Lunar New Year for some other countries. Traditionally, celebrations will run from the evening preceding the first day, to the 15th day (Lantern Festival) of the first calendar month. 2017 is also the year of Rooster!

On the New Year's Eve of the Chinese New Year, family members will get together to celebrate with a reunion dinner (團圓飯). The reunion dinner is usually very large and includes many luxurious dishes. One popular dish include the Yusheng (魚生) / Prosperity Toss consisting strips of raw fish, mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments. It is considered a symbol of abundance and prosperity.

Friday 27 January - Sunday 12 February

Australian Chinese artists have designed 12 spectacular and colourful zodiac animal lanterns and placed them around Circular Quay. The trail starts from the Sydney Opera House all the way to Dawes Point. Here are all the lanterns and the names of the artists that designed them.

Friday 27 January - Sunday 12 February

While walking the Lunar Lanterns Trail around Circular Quay, I've came across these adorable mini Chinese Zodiacs Lanterns being displayed across all floors of the Gateway Sydney's three-level dining precinct.

Friday 27 January - Saturday 29 January (8pm to 12am)

Sydney also collaborated with the principal partner Westpac to welcome the Year of the Rooster by lighting famous Sydney landmarks in auspicious red for 3 nights.

These landmarks include:

  • Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Circular Quay
  • Sydney Town Hall
  • David Jones Elizabeth Street
  • Capitol Theatre with the support of Aladdin- The Musical
  • State Library of NSW
  • Westfield Sydney bridge to Myer- above Pitt Street Mall
  • Australian National Maritime Museum Pavilion, Lighthouse and rooftop projection

However, my busy schedule only allowed me to visit three of these landmarks this Chinese New Year. Here are some of the pictures I've captured of the beautiful landmarks bathed in red.


50m canopy of red lanterns, food, drink, The Star Fortune Mahjong Garden and nightly DJ and entertainment.


The Pentatonic Rooster
Friday 27 January - Sunday 12 February

Artist: Tianli Zu 祖天丽

Tianli Zu was born in Beijing and now lives in Sydney. She has exhibited extensively in Australia and China and her work captures experiences of places and cultures through intuitive and metaphysical means.

The Pentatonic Rooster Lantern is inspired by traditional Chinese instruments and the five-note pentatonic musical scale. Its body is a gong; its head is a cymbal, its wattle a bell, its beak and leg are flutes, its feet are piccolos and panpipes form its comb. These roosters symbolise the continuity of Chinese tradition in the spiritual home of Chinese New Year, Chinatown.

Chinatown Lion Dances
Friday 27 January to Sunday 12 February
Thursday to Sundays (6pm to 6:30pm)

When I was a kid, I was actually really terrified by Lion Dances and the loud sound of the red fire crackers. Rest assured this is no longer a problem as I've now find them really adorable and cute. Here are some captured moments to show you what I mean by them being "adorable".


In addition to all these exciting events happening all around Sydney, I'm so grateful to be able to celebrate this special occasion with my family living in Sydney as well. We had a wonderful and scrumptious Chinese New Year dinner at a family friend's house on the 4th of February. Here are some of the amazing dishes! I also want to thank my family back in Malaysia as they have also send some red packets all the way to Sydney as their blessings. (PS: I have the best family in the world)

This Chinese New Year have been a very exciting and different from past celebrations. Living abroad have reminded me to be thankful for my family and friends. We all sometimes tend to be so comfortable with our surroundings that we often forget how lucky we are to have them around. So this year, let us all begin to appreciate the people around us more!

So, how did you celebrate your Chinese New Year? Comment below!