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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lions Roam Free Downtown

Sydney will roar to life this month with lions roaming the city's streets as part of the City of Sydney's Chinese New Year Festival.

The festivities will be kicked off with youths dressed in flamboyantly decorated lion costumes moving swiftly through the crowds, bestowing good luck to all local businesses.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said crowds are always mesmerised by the spectacular performances as the lions dance in perfect harmony to the beat of the drums.563348
“Lion dancing is a Chinese ritual performed for over 1,000 years and the City has proudly upheld this longstanding tradition throughout our festival’s 18-year history,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Our Chinese New Year celebrations are the largest outside Mainland China and in all the excitement, there will be something for everyone.”
The event originates from a popular Chinese legend, in which a monk envisions a lion will deter all China’s coming catastrophes.
Every new year, garish lion masks continue to ward off evil spirits, while deafening firecrackers make powerful deterrents to the incoming year’s misfortunes.
So join the traditional Chinese lion dancers this year as they take their ritualised dancing to the Sydney streets to bring both good fortune and prosperity for the new year.
You can see traditional lion dances at various times throughout the festival, including: 
Chinatown Lion Dances
26, 27 January and 1, 2 February throughout Chinatown – free
Experience the noise, colour and excitement of the traditional Chinese lion dances before unwinding with a meal at one of the many Chinatown restaurants.
sydneychinesenewyear.com
Festival Launch 
24 January at Belmore Park – free 
Kick off the Chinese New Year celebrations in style at the official festival launch in Belmore Park. The park will come to life with market stalls and a range of entertainment including traditional lion dances.
Twilight Parade 
2 February at Sydney Town Hall – free 
Sydney’s streets will be transformed into a wonderland filled with horses, bands, dancing lions and light projections as Sydney welcomes in the Year of the Horse.
Chinese Garden of Friendship, Forecourt Lion Dance 
24 January at the Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour – free 
Watch in amazement as martial art performers present the ancient Chinese lion dance.
sydneychinesenewyear.com
Chinese New Year at Two Temples 
8 February at the Yiu Ming Hung Fook Tong Temple, Alexandria and 
Sze Yup Kwan Ti Temple, Edward St, Glebe - free
Celebrate the Year of the Horse with lion dancing, firecrackers and the lighting of incense while enjoying the breathtaking view at Sydney’s temples rich with history and religious significance.
sydneychinesenewyear.com
Chinese New Year at the QVB
16 January to 5 February at the QVB - free 
Lions will dance through the floors of the Queen Victoria Building, which will be transformed to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
qvb.com.au
Chinese New Year at The Galeries 
24 January at The Galeries – free 
To celebrate the Chinese New Year, The Galeries will have exclusive retailer offers and lion dances.
thegaleries.com.au
Lion Dance Workshop 
8 February at CYL Clubhouse, Haymarket – free (bookings essential)
Come along and learn the art of the ancient Chinese lion dance with the Chinese Youth League Lion and Dragon Dance Group.
cyl.org.au
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