The 2010 Chinese New Year Festival, which I will launch next Friday in Belmore Park, is the largest Lunar New Year celebration outside Asia.
From its modest beginnings 15 years ago, the Festival has grown into a three-week long program of more than 60 events celebrating Chinese culture, customs, food, history, music and art.
Chinese New Year Markets will continue in Belmore Park over the launch weekend, 29-30 January, the operating until 10pm Friday to Sunday evenings. The markets will feature stalls, live entertainment, kids' activities, cooking demonstrations, a giant screen showing new Asian cinema and a karaoke competition. At the City's Live Green House you can help create a giant rabbit sculpture from recycled bottles.
This year, the Festival will host a contingent of 250 people from Hubei province in central China. Hubei is famous for the Wudang, a form of martial arts featured in the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which was partly set and filmed in Hubei.
The Hubei contingent will be a highlight in our fantastic Twilight Parade on Sunday 6 February, presenting Wudang displays, the traditional and intricate Tujia Waving Hand Dance, performed in brilliantly coloured costumes, as well as floats, hip hop artists, and an illuminated Yellow Crane Tower.
The Parade begins at Sydney Town Hall and continues to Darling Harbour. A fireworks display at Cockle Bay will herald the end of the Parade, welcoming the Year of the Rabbit.
The Festival's Charity Partner is The Fred Hollows Foundation which works to restore sight in countries all around the world, including China.
Kung Hei Fat Choy! Gong Xi Far Tsai! â€¦or Happy Chinese New Year!
- Chinese New Year Festival: 28 January to 13 February: www.sydneychinesenewyear.com.au
- Festival launch: 6.30-8pm Friday 28 January, Belmore Park, across Eddy Avenue from Central Station
- Chinese New Year Markets: 4-10pm Friday 28 January; 11am-10pm Saturday/Sunday 29-30 January, Belmore Park
- Chinese New Year Twilight Parade: 7.45-9.45pm Sunday 6 February, Town Hall to Chinatown, followed by fire works at Cockle Bay;
- Charity Partner, Fred Hollows Foundation: www.hollows.org.au/