The festival’s 20th anniversary offered unexpected performances, new events and exciting experiences.


I grew up in Sydney and the Chinese New Year celebrations have always been a highlight for our family

Chinese New Year Festival Curator Claudia Chan Shaw

For the first time, the city centre lit up with giant Lunar Lanterns representing signs of the Chinese zodiac. It was a fitting way to ring in the Year of the Monkey, with people born under this sign said to be fun-loving, inventive and curious.

The Monkey is renowned for its love of fun, making 2016 the perfect year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of City of Sydney’s Chinese New Year Festival

Cr Robert Kok, Chair, Chinese New Year Advisory Group

The 2016 program encouraged visitors to wander from Circular Quay to Chinatown and beyond, taking in the breathtaking sights and stopping in Chinatown for a meal as part of Lunar Feasts.

In addition, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay Station, Sydney Town Hall and the Capitol Theatre were illuminated red thanks to Principal Partner Westpac. In Chinese culture, red symbolises good fortune and joy. It is believed to be an auspicious colour for warding off evil and also represents vitality and celebration.


The year 2016 also marks the 30th anniversary of our sister city relationship with Guangzhou, and we are delighted to welcome a delegation who will be taking part in our festivities.

Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney

H.E. Mr Huaxin Li, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Sydney, says the Chinese New Year Festival showcases Sydney internationally as a dynamic, inclusive and multicultural metropolitan city.

We also welcomed our 2016 Charity Partner, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.

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