What’s on this Weekend: The Lunar New Year

By Elise Pfeiffer

Performers present a lion dance during Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Performers present a lion dance during Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
In Chinese astrology, each Lunar year is associated with an animal and one of the five elements. 2016, we celebrate the year of the Fire Monkey.

In Chinese astrology, each Lunar year is associated with a Chinese zodiac animal sign and one of the five elements, with 2016 being the year of the Fire Monkey.

This year, celebrations boast an enchanting mix of colourful parades, Chinese lanterns and feasts for many. We look at some of the exciting activities taking place across Australia and New Zealand over the Chinese New Year period.

  • In Sydney, the New Year will be celebrated with the Lunar Markets. The 11-day festival of Asian cuisine will host a range of market stalls, live entertainment and pop up bars all under a roof of glowing Chinese Lanterns. Starting this weekend at Pyrmont Bay Park, the Lunar Markets will celebrate the Chinese holiday until February 14.
  • Federation Square, Melbourne, will also be unifying the Year of the Monkey celebrations this weekend. Federation Square’s Chinese Food Market will take you on an asian culinary journey, while the range of entertainment will immerse you in a world of culture. Traditional folk music, Chinese Lion Dances, martial art performances and light displays will be on show.
  • In Wellington, New Zealand, festivities include February 13’s, East Meets West Celebration Show, a cultural fusion with 30 Xiamen performers alongside the best of Wellington’s artistic scene. The performance is showcasing for one night only and tickets are $25.
  • In Queenstown Chinese New Year celebrations will feature an acclaimed Lion Dance team, performing on February 9. According to traditional Chinese superstition, the lion dance is believed to bring good luck and prosperity and is a symbol of celebration and new beginnings. The performance will be held at Earnslaw Park.

No matter where you are celebrating the Chinese New Year, the traditional holiday is bound to be a lively and electrifying event.

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