Sydney Lunar New Year 2024: Lions, Lanterns & Beyond

Brace yourselves! The roar of the dragon is nigh! Lunar Year 2024, aka the ‘Year Of The Dragon’, falls on February 10 and Sydney is preparing for its biggest celebration yet. Embracing the diverse cultures in Sydney including Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Korean, it’s no wonder there are plenty of ways to celebrate. And the best part – most events are free!

Fun fact: The Dragon is the fifth sign in the Chinese Zodiac and symbolises good luck, honour and power.

We believe Sydney’s Lunar Year celebrations are the biggest outside of Asia. From enjoying fierce dragon manoeuvres and high-flying boat races to going on a relaxing Sydney lunch cruise or engaging in a meditation session on the harbour, there’s something for everyone.

CBD’s must-see festival

The celebrations run from 10-25 February with the Central Business District (CBD) being the major hotspot. The Sydney Lunar Festival takes centre stage, turning CBD's lively laneways into open-air galleries, street parties, food havens, and colourful dragon and lion dance parades.

The crowd-favourite ‘Lunar Streets’ kicks things off with an opening street party with performances by various community groups in Sydney. Twelve lunar lanterns that represent each Chinese zodiac sign will light up every night between King and Goulburn streets.

PS: Keep an eye out for the 20m long dragon swirling its way through the streets!

Land & water harbourside festivities

Exciting events await in Darling Harbour, including a symbolic opening ceremony at the Chinese Garden of Friendship, where you can learn about Chinese culture through tea ceremonies and meditation. Or, you can even have your fortune read to you!

Annual dragon boat races on Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour also becomes the stage for the annual ‘Dragon Boat Races’ and the thrilling jetpack shows! Race to a spot near the water’s edge for the best views. For a relaxing break from all the buzz, you can join one of our Sydney Harbour lunch cruises.

Fun fact: Did you know more than two billion people celebrate Lunar Year worldwide? That’s more than one fourth of Earth’s population! 

The suburbs put on a great show

Venture beyond the CBD to the suburbs of Chatswood and you’ll witness the ‘Year of The Dragon’ celebrations unfurl with a unique charm. Here, the major drawcard is the Celebration Day, which is a whole day of full-blown entertainment, including lion dances and over 100 Asian food stalls and pop-ups.

The lantern parade part of the Lunar Year celebrations in Sydney

At the end of it all is the stunning ‘Lantern Parade’. When the sun bows out, watch the streets turn into a radiant sea of lanterns, dancers, traditional costumes and vibrant music. The ‘Lunar Comedy Gala’ also makes a triumphant return to The Concourse, with the top Aussie and Asian comedians joining international star Jason Leong.

Eating your way through the celebration

What’s a celebration in Sydney without a mouth-watering feast! The city’s Asian food joints will host special Lunar Year banquets and menus. Few noteworthy names include the Ni Hao, Spice Temple and Din Tai Fung. There are many symbolic dishes that will be available at these restaurants: dumplings bring in wealth, rice balls for togetherness, noodles signifying longevity and whole fish inviting prosperity.

Lunar Year in Sydney is a citywide celebration that weaves together traditions, cultures and the spirit of unity. So be part of Sydney’s Lunar Year celebrations – may the ‘Year of the Dragon’ bring you joy, prosperity and an abundance of good fortune! Gong Xi Fa Cai!