Advertisement

Thousands turn out for New Year festivities

CHINESE NEW YEAR
Lunar New Year festivities are kicking off across the country. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift

Australian cities have transformed into a sea of red as Lunar New Year festivities kick off across the country.

The annual event, which often runs for about 15 days, begins on Saturday and this time marks the beginning of the Year of the Dragon.

Thousands of people have flocked to events across capital cities to indulge in decadent banquets, observe traditional lion and dragon performances and later on, watch firework shows light up the sky.

Photographs taken in Sydney’s Chinatown show crowds jammed into the narrow lanes to take in the colourful decorations of red and gold.

CHINESE NEW YEAR
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore hands out red packets at Haymarket for Lunar New Year. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift
CHINESE NEW YEAR
Sydneysiders pose in front of lantern decorations. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift

Lord Mayor Clover Moore was spotted dressed in a traditional silk gown handing out red envelopes to local business owners and residents.

These envelopes are shared with loved ones and friends over the new year celebrations to signify good luck for the year ahead.

“2024 welcomes the Year of the Dragon, a year that is said to bring great fortune,” Ms Moore said.

“The dragon is unique because it is the only mythical creature of all the animals in the Chinese zodiac, and it is seen as a powerful symbol of vitality, innovation, enterprise, passion and romance.”

CHINESE NEW YEAR
Children hand out red packets to others. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift
CHINESE NEW YEAR
Traditional dragon performances in Haymarket. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift

Children sat on the shoulders of parents get a glimpse of the dragons dancing up the main strip of Chinatown.

Parts of the Haymarket will be closed down from 5pm to make way for food stalls, roving performances and entertainment including Thomas St, Hay St, Sussex St and Harbour St.

CHINESE NEW YEAR
Lord Mayor Clover Moore. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift
CHINESE NEW YEAR
Visitors and residents turn out for the first day of celebrations. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift
CHINESE NEW YEAR
Sydney local Nat Irsaj came out to enjoy the food and the buzz in and around China town. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift

A five-metre high wooden dragon situated has been installed on Dixon Street in honour of the year’s zodiac while George Street will be lit up with 12 zodiac lanterns between each sitting on top of an illuminated plinth.

The festival is set to run for sixteen days in Sydney, with more than 70 events on the calendar including dragon boat racing and cultural performances.

Celebrations are expected to take place in other capital cities including Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.