Our picks for Sydney Lunar Festival

It’s time to celebrate the Year of the Pig in Sydney!

There’s so much happening during the Sydney Lunar Festival which runs from 1 to 10 February. Here are just a few of the best things to do.

Hero Pig Lantern by Qian Jian Hua . Photo: Daniel Tran / City of Sydney

Lunar Lanterns

Explore the Lunar Lanterns and discover your birth sign. A spectacular new pig lantern by Qian Jian Hua (Justin) will light up the western boardwalk of the Sydney Opera House. Go for a walk around the foreshore to see the 12 other spectacular lanterns that light up Circular Quay.

Back by popular demand, the spiral pigs lantern from 2018 will return to the Overseas Passenger Terminal near The Rocks. There are some other new critters to discover this year, including a tower of monkeys, an ox and a flock of electric sheep.

Friday 1 February to Sunday 10 February

The Spiral Pig lantern by John Deng

The Spiral Pig lantern by John Deng

Have a Lunar Festival feast

The Lunar New Year calls for a feast. Eat noodles for longevity, dumplings for wealth and dessert for a sweet year. There are heaps of delicious foodie events to whet your appetite.

The Star is hosting an exclusive Lunar New Year banquet curated by the chefs from The Century.

You might also like to check out a local’s guide to Haymarket and surrounds for more hot tips about where to eat.

Lion Dancers for Lunar New Year celebrations

Lunar Spectacular Show

Catch community performances from a wide range of community groups. They’ll take to the outdoor stage at First Fleet Park with traditional and contemporary performances.

Friday 1 February to Sunday 3 February

Help break the world record for the largest yum cha meal

WSFM’s Jonesy and Amanda are attempting to break the Guinness World Records title for largest yum cha meal – and they invite you to join them!

Tuesday 5 February

A Lunar New Year celebration with Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Hear the Sydney Symphony Orchestra capture the excitement of the Lunar New Year at Sydney Opera House. The east-meets-west musical celebration will feature dances from the heart of China and thrilling moments from opera by Borodin and Tchaikovsky.

Friday 1 February and Saturday 2 February

Calligraphy demonstrations

Calligraphy demonstrations

Watch a demonstration by master calligraphy artists and go home with your own handwritten souvenir courtesy of our calligraphers. This is a free event. Bookings essential.

Saturday 2 February at Green Square Library, Tuesday 5 February at Customs House


Chinatown Celebrations

Chinatown Celebrations

Delight in the sights and sounds of the Lunar New Year. Take in a spectacular, Instagram-worthy curtain of red, gold and pink Chinese lanterns suspended over the heart of Chinatown. Visit the AYAM zodiac roulette to discover your destiny dish and personalised horoscope prediction for 2019. There’ll be live international performances as well as lion dances every Friday to Sunday at 6pm.

Friday 1 February to Sunday 10 February 2019

The Rock Lunar Markets

The cobblestoned lanes of The Rocks will host markets featuring Asian street food and arts and crafts. Keep an eye out for the lion dance performances at 1pm and 6pm.

Friday 1 February to Sunday 3 February, Friday 8 February 2019 to Sunday 10 February 2019

Lunar New Year dumpling station at the Calyx

Lunar New Year dumpling station at The Calyx

Indulge in a delicious dumpling tasting menu to celebrate Lunar New Year at The Calyx in the Royal Botanic Garden. While you are in the garden, you might like to take a special self-guided walk.

Friday 1 February to Sunday 10 February

Dragon boat racing in Darling Harbour

Dragon boat races

Grab a spot harbourside and watch the biggest dragon boat races in the southern hemisphere.

Saturday 9 to Sunday 10 February

LED Lion Dances

Lion dances

Head to the harbour for lion dances including some with a sparkling difference. Catch an electrifying lion and dragon dance performance as performers decorated with LEDs illuminate Circular Quay foreshore.

Friday 1 February and Sunday 10 February

Pop-up beach by Surf Lifesaving NSW

Pop-up beach by Surf Lifesaving NSW

Why go to the beach when the beach can come to you? Head to First Fleet Park in The Rocks to enjoy the pop-up beach by our charity partner Surf Lifesaving NSW. It’ll be buzzing with activity, full of volunteer surf lifesavers, games, activities, a blow up ball pit and loads of giveaways. There will also be beach chairs and umbrellas for those looking for a place to relax.

Friday 1 February to Sunday 10 February

Topotea tea masters

Art Gallery of NSW Lunar New Year After Hours

The Art Gallery of NSW is inviting guests in after hours for a special Lunar New Year event. There will be a traditional lion dance, live music and hands-on workshops. You can also check out the new exhibition Heaven and Earth in Chinese art: treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei.

Other Lunar New Year events at the gallery include an experiential tea ceremony performed by Haymarket tea masters Topotea. There is also a workshop for children to drop in and make their own paper pig.

Make paper pigs at the Art Gallery of NSW.

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