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Chinese New Year at The Rocks
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Come down to The Rocks to celebrate the dawning of the Chinese Year of the Dog.

16 February to 4 March
Locations around The Rocks,
Sydney, NSW, 2000

In its 22nd year, the festival now extends all the way from Chinatown to the harbour. An internationally renowned celebration of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Korean culture, it’s Sydney’s third largest annual event … so make sure you get out and about amongst the action in 2018!

Plus there’s lots more happening in the city, from karaoke on top of the Harbour Bridge to moon gazing at Sydney Observatory.

Follow the Lunar Lanterns trail around Circular Quay from the Opera House to Dawes Point (Tar-ra). Twelve spectacular zodiac animal lanterns, designed by Chinese–Australian artists and up to 10 metres high, will line the foreshore throughout the 17-day festival. 

The Rooster

The two Roosters engaged in a dancing fight symbolise their strength and courage in opposing the adversity of the coming year. To highlight the Roosters’ beauty and confidence, vibrant colours feature throughout their feathers.

This lantern towers eight metres in height, ensuring that these two magnificent creatures are the centre of attention.

The Sheep

This is one Sheep that will stand out in a crowd!The Sheep Lunar Lantern takes the form of a giant Merino ram. The Merino is an Australian icon, immortalised in Goulburn’s Big Merino, the jolly jumbuck in the song Waltzing Matilda, Tom Roberts’ painting Shearing the Rams and the logo for Golden Fleece petrol.

This majestic, woolly character is kindhearted and noble, and as can be seen from his impeccable appearance, has excellent taste.

The Dragon

Artist Guan Wei’s Loong (Dragon) is a fantastic being of immense power and mysticism, and the emblem of Chinese culture. In this lantern, a little boy retrieves a jewel from Loong’s mouth, enabling Loong to spit water and bring rain to the land.

The Snake

The physical allure of the snake is explored in its sinuous form, suspended under Circular Quay train station.

Inspired by the traditional art of Chinese kite making, this golden Snake flies above the public, representing prosperity and wealth. The artists have also featured the Chinese happiness symbols in the eyes as a symbol of good fortune for the coming year.

The Dog

Who doesn’t love a puppy? Artist Song Ling’s mysterious dog is painted in bright primary colours. Floating between past, present and future, it casts its bright, inquisitive eyes upon the world, stopping only to hold up things of importance, so that we might be reminded of their spiritual value.

The Rat

The Rat lantern is inspired by Guo Jian’s experience of moving to Australia and being embraced and supported by the Sydney LGBTI community.

At first glance, the Rat is light, fun and visually entertaining but look closer and you’ll see the Chinese character for ‘LOVE’ creating a bridge between China and Sydney.

The Monkey

Laurens Tan’s three wise monkeys, who see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil, look towards the pencil, which is mightier than the sword. This lantern continues Tan’s playful exploration of Chinese linguistics and symbolism. Each monkey stands 5 metres tall and is made up of more than 1,600 pattern pieces.

The Ox

The majestic Ox takes pride of place opposite ferry wharf 2 this Lunar New Year, in a stunning display featuring over 26,000 LED pixels. A nod to the game of mahjong, the 10-metre high Ox is made up of hundreds of illuminated mahjong tiles, projecting an enchanting light and creating a link between heaven and earth.

The Tiger

This lantern represents happiness, wealth, peace and prosperity.

In Chinese culture, the tiger incites both awe and admiration for its prowess, ferocity and beauty. This big cat is full of life and embodies the spirit and drive to achieve and make progress.

The tiger represents the greatest earthly power, as well as protection over human life. The sign on this tiger’s forehead spells ‘king’, which is common in most Chinese symbols depicting a tiger.

The Horse

Inspired by the famous chariots found alongside the unearthed Terracotta Warriors.

Acknowledging China’s long military history, the Horse lantern depicts ancient war horses leading a chariot.

The Pig

John Deng's cheeky flying pigs are a new addition to the Sydney Chinese New Year Festival. In China, the pig is known for having a lucky and happy character and a sense of humour. In the western world, people say ‘pigs might fly’. This artwork explores both eastern and western notions about this lovable animal.

The Rabbit

Discover these 8 playful rabbits practising tai chi with the Sydney Opera House Bridge as a backdrop. Chinese New Year Festival Curator Claudia Chan Shaw invites you to join the circle and try out rabbit tai chi poses, or just wander among these whimsical creatures and get in the bunny spirit.

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