• 2024.03.27
  • The Australian Chinese new year celebrations.
The Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year, is part of Australian culture, so much so that the celebrations in Sydney are considered the largest outside of China and Asia.
The Lunar New Year is an important cultural holiday celebrated in China and other East Asian countries. The Sydney celebrations culminate in January February but they are mainly divided into four phases, and begin a week before the actual New Year's Eve.

Australia has one of the largest Chinese communities outside of Asia in the world, which is why Chinese New Year is very popular here. Sydney welcomes the Lunar New Year with a calendar full of exciting events.
They start off with a bang with the annual fireworks display at Darling Harbor at the end of January. Sydney's Chinese Garden of Friendship then host a light show to recreate the four seasons and feature Asian-inspired music, food and beverages.
The Chinese neighbourhood hosts a market featuring food stalls and street art.

The first phase of the celebrations is characterized by Little Year, a day of prayer followed by New Year's Eve, the actual eve, in which families gather and exchange gifts.
The celebrations focus on the Spring Festival which lasts fifteen days, until the last phase, that of the so-called Lantern Festival.
The lunar year calendar is based on lunar cycles; Chinese dancers perform during the Sydney Lunar Festival at the Chinese Garden of Friendship and this is a great opportunity to learn more about the culture of Southeast Asian countries.
It is a cultural event with very solid historical roots and with a very rich range of symbols connected to it which and ways to celebrate it include participating in setting up decorations, having a traditional Chinese dinner at one of the many Sydney locations on New Year's Eve, exchanging gifts and the famous red envelopes, setting off firecrackers and fireworks which can be purchased in the Chinese neighbourhood and watching the lion and dragon dances shows held all over the city.

A Chinese Australian friend of mine explained to me that the tradition is precisely that of gathering around the table and preparing hundreds of dumplings for the eve dinner. They prepare a large quantity, in order to freeze them and eat them during the other phases of the celebrations too.
Although the Gregorian calendar is used in today's China, Chinese people around the world do not give up their traditional calendar. The main reason lies in the fact that in the latter the main holidays continue to be specified, such as the New Year and the Lantern Festival.
Thanks to the traditional calendar, Chinese people can choose the most auspicious days for events such as weddings, funerals, moves, or even to start a new job.
The Chinese calendar takes into account both the movement of the moon around the Earth and that of the Earth around the Sun.
The beginning of the month is determined by the phase of the moon. And although each South-East Asian country makes small variations, New Year always falls between the months of January and February.
The so-called Lantern Festival, which is in fact celebrated on the fifteenth day of the new year is called so because of the tradition of families making small lanterns that are hung outside their front door.
The cycle of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs begins and ends on the day of the Lunar New Year, and repeats itself, associating a different animal with each year, each with its own characteristics and the animal of the year is usually used as decorations all over the Chinese neighbourhood as well as other parts of the city too.
I love how international Sydney is and the involvement in the Chinese new year festivities is a nice proof of that.


  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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