The Ox has arrived with honesty, hard work, strength and positivity.
February 12 marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year and the arrival of the second character of the Chinese zodiac—the Ox. Although many of the celebrations in and around Sydney have already begun, the party isn’t ending this weekend with feasts, festivals and fun times taking us all the way through to the end of February. (Featured image: @macauphotoagency)
Find here five ways you can celebrate the new lunar year and take part in the festivities happening in Sydney.
1. The Lunar Lantern Walk
Sydney’s interpretation of a centuries-old tradition returns with the Lunar Lantern Walk. From Friday 12 February, twelve larger-than-life animal signs will form a path from Haymarket to Circular Quay and at night will be lit up for all to see. The walk itself is just shy of 3km and would be a perfect way to walk off all the food you’re bound to be eating.
To really take advantage of the Lunar Lantern Walk, download the Sydney Culture Walks app and read up on the history and mythology of the zodiac animals as well as the artists that have contributed to their installation.
The outdoor exhibition will end on Sunday 21 February 2021.
Please note that the above image is from 2020.
2. The Rocks Lunar New Year Celebrations
The Rocks is coming alive with Asian street food, glowing red lanterns and live entertainment on the weekends of 12-14 February and 19-21 February.
Street food vendors will be cooking up noodles, sweet treats and, our favourite, dumplings among a whole host of Asian delicacies while roaming lion dancers carve their way through the crowd. A glowing ox will be illuminating the entrance to Kendall Lane and further down a lone Maple tree decorated with gold and red leaves will be waiting for you to make your Lunar New Year wish.
If you’re into magic, and you will be after watching Neo Song, stop by Jack Mundey Place especially on Sunday where he will be performing a Chinese face-changing performance.
For everything else that’s happening at The Rocks this Lunar New Year, check what’s on here.
3. ”Greetings, become rich” in Parramatta
In the Cantonese tradition of kung hei fat choi, the City of Parramatta is giving away five $100 AT Parramatta gift cards and all you need to do to win is take a photo of your Lunar New Year celebration somewhere in Parramatta and tag the photo on Facebook or Instagram with both #parralny and #atparramatta.
Unfortunately, winners won’t be announced until 1 March but since you’re already in the area, you may as well check out the lighting installation in Centenary Square between 12-26 February and hit up one of Parramatta’s many Asian restaurants for a marvellous feed. Don’t know which one to go to, use Parramatta’s Lunar Foodie Guide.
Also taking place this weekend (11-13 February) is the Lunar Lane food markets at Sydney Olympic Park
4. Chatswood’s Festival Eats Food Trail
There’s a reason why SBS Food helps put on Chatswood’s Festival Eats Food Trail and that is that Chatswood is a hub of Asian food without rival. It’s world-renowned and our problem with it is that sometimes it’s just too hard to decide where to eat or what to eat.
Thankfully, Chatswood has put together an interactive map that will not just help you decide where to eat but will also show you all the places that are preparing a number of Lunar New Year dishes for good luck and good fortune. If you’re on the street already, keep an eye out for the lucky ox stickers which will show you where you can get these special dishes.
Once you’ve eaten your fill in Chatswood, then it’s time to check out the art installations, film festival and the inaugural Lunar New Year Comedy Festival taking place on Saturday 27 February. For more information, see here.
5. Drink Lunar New Year Cocktails
At Banchō Bar in Chinatown, they’re serving up an exclusive menu of eight cocktails to celebrate the Lunar New Year. With fun and fanciful names like the Yee-Haw, Monkey & the Ox, and Good Juju, you’ll sure be having a good time.
But to make it even more interesting, by ordering one of the four Glenfiddich cocktails you will enter into the running to win a limited edition bottle of Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Gran Reserva single malt Lunar New Year edition whisky and tickets to a very special Glenfiddich whisky tasting with Ross Blainey. You just need to remember to drop your red packet (after filling in your info) into the metal Ox head at the bar. Good luck!
Find Banchō Bar at 10 Thomas Lane, Haymarket