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Chinese New Year dragons on Kensington Street
Photograph: David Li

The best Lunar New Year events in Sydney

Celebrate the Year of the Ox with food, fireworks and festivities around town

Written by
Divya Venkataraman
Time Out editors

In 2021, Lunar New Year falls on Friday, February 12. Lunar New Year is a celebration for many cultures represented in Sydney, including the city's Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Korean communities, celebrated through food, art, festivities and gathering. February 12 marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox, the second character in the Chinese zodiac, which embodies the traits of honesty, positivity and hard work.

We've picked out some of the best ways to ring in the new year in Sydney. 

RECOMMENDED: Late night dining in Sydney.

Chinese New Year events around Sydney

  • Things to do
  • Food and drink

No Lunar New Year celebration is complete without a feast, and there are many auspicious and symbolic dishes that are a must on any holiday menu: noodles for longevity, whole fish for prosperity, rice cakes for advancement to new heights, and more. Check out our list, including venues like Flying Fish, New Shanghai, Aria, Hello Auntie and more. 

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

The City of Sydney is vamping up Haymarket, Circular Quay and the CBD from February 12-21, with events, talks, and a suite of giant Lunar Lanterns to represent the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. Dixon Street Mall will also have brand new Ox sculptures, designed by Sydney-based artist Chrissy Lau. More than 80 associated events are included in the festival this year including community celebrations, concerts, exhibitions, theatrical performances, special restaurant menus, talks, workshops and tours.

Taste Hello Auntie's new curry lamingtons
Photograph: Katje Ford

Taste Hello Auntie's new curry lamingtons

Two eateries are joining forces for an unexpected but mighty combo: Tokyo Lamington is rolling out three new lamingtons for Lunar New Year in collaboration with Hello Auntie: one features pandan and pineapple, while the other is reminiscent of a pineapple tart, and the last is a savoury creation by Hello Auntie's head chef and owner Cuong Nguyen which sandwiches Vietnamese beef red curry katsu and cocoa butter between two savoury sponge pieces, and coats the whole thing in fried shallots and roasted coconut flakes. Grab yours from the pop-up cart in Darling Sqaure (they're $7 for a single lammy and $21 for a pack of three). 

Shop  at the Rocks' Lunar Markets
Photograph: Anna Kucera

Shop at the Rocks' Lunar Markets

The Rocks' Lunar Markets are happening Friday to Sunday on Feb 12-14 and Feb 19-21, turning Playfair Street into an Asian street food festival including gifts, Mahjong, zodiac readings and an ‘Ox in a china shop’ display in Kendall Lane.

Spice up dinner time

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