The City's 15th Chinese New Year Festival concludes this weekend with spectacular Dragon Boat Races on Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour. Twelve metre long boats, decorated to feature a dragon head and tail, seat up to 22 people who paddle to drumbeats as they compete to reach the finish line first. Thousands of people are expected to line the harbour to watch over 3000 people take part in the races throughout the day.
The final weekend of the Festival also features live performances, films, exhibitions, talks, tours and the Australian Chinese Community Association's Chinese New Year Banquet.
Several exhibitions featuring in the Festival program will continue beyond Sunday. They include The First Emperor: China's Entombed Warriors and Homage to the Ancestors: Ritual Art from the Ancient Chu Kingdom, both at the Art Gallery of NSW. Homage to Ancestors, which I welcomed to the Art Gallery on Wednesday, is being presented in conjunction with the Chinese government and Hubei province. Over 250 people from Hubei have travelled to Sydney to take part in our Chinese New Year celebrations. The exhibition features bronze vessels, lacquer wares, jades and bronze bells from the Hubei Provincial Museum.
- Chinese New Year Festival: Until 13 February: www.sydneychinesenewyear.com.au
- Dragon Boat Races, Saturday 12 and Sunday13 February, 8am to 5pm, Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour
- The First Emperor: China's Entombed Warriors: Art Gallery of NSW until Sunday 13 March.
- Homage to the Ancestors: Ritual Art from the Ancient Chu Kingdom: Art Gallery of NSW until Tuesday 26 April.
- Exhibition information: www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/