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Sydney gears up for biggest Lunar New Year celebrations outside Asia

2020-01-21 16:18:00Xinhua

Sydney is getting ready to welcome the Year of the Rat with the largest Lunar New Year extravaganza outside Asia.

Set to kick off Saturday, over 100 events will take place over 16 days across the harbor city including live performances, markets, carnival rides, art installations and lion dances.

"We have drawn on Sydney's diverse cultures, including Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian, to create this exciting festival," Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said on Tuesday.

"Over the years we've seen the festival grow from a small community event in Chinatown to one of the largest lunar celebrations in the world, so I'm looking forward to the Lunar Lanes celebrations returning to the place it all began 24 years ago."

Attracting close to 1.5 million people and around 42 million Australian dollars (29 million U.S. dollars) last year, the event has become a prominent feature on every Sydneysiders' calendar.

"We're proud to present a world-class event that will draw people from around the globe to mark the start of what is considered a particularly lucky new lunar year."

Among the main attractions this year is a giant metal rat artwork designed by renowned Australian designer and artist Claudia Chan Shaw.

Festival curator, artist Valerie Khoo, said she's thrilled to see how well such a diverse program has come together.

"From our laneway party on opening night to community dance performances and the famous dragon boat races at Darling Harbor, there's truly something for everyone," she said.

"This year's entertainment includes a troupe of 24 performers and musicians from the northwestern Chinese province of Shaanxi. We'll also see Seoul's number one b-boy group, MB Crew, who performed at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics."

"Another highlight of the 2020 Sydney Lunar Festival will again be the Lunar Lanterns exhibition, with 12 larger than life illuminated artworks representing the animal signs of the zodiac."

The festivities are set to run from Jan. 25 to Feb. 9.




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