Crowds roar and lions dance, Gangnam Style

Crowds roar and lions dance, Gangnam Style

Sydney’s streets will roar to life this month as lion dances, film and theatre ignite the city for the City’s Year of the Snake celebrations.

The spectacular lion dances – featuring costumed performers and a soundtrack of gongs, drums and crackers – will thrill Sydneysiders as they make their way through the streets of Chinatown.

For movie buffs, brilliant Asian films will screen at the Golden Koala Chinese Film Festival, while theatregoers will be treated to the Hong Kong play, Life’s a Stage, performed by Australasian Art and Stageworks.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Sydneysiders would be dazzled by this year’s Lunar New Year events.

“The streets around Chinatown buzz with excitement during the Lunar New Year,” the Lord Mayor said.

“From a Gangnam Style dance contest to martial arts demonstrations and the tragic tale of a Hong Kong opera star, there’s a lot to get excited about.”

Chinese New Year highlights for entertainment lovers include:

Chinatown Lion Dances
19, 20 January; 2, 10, 16 February at various streets throughout Haymarket – free 

Featuring pounding drums, flamboyance and a flash of wicked humour, the Chinatown lion dances will bring the thrill of Chinese New Year to Sydney. Join in the fun and follow the spectacle with a meal at one of Chinatown’s top restaurants.

Korea Town Lunar New Year Sae-Hae’ (새해) Festival
16 February at Pitt Street – free

Sydney’s Korea Town is again proudly celebrating the traditional Korean Lunar New Year ‘Sae-Hae’ Festival with events and activities for all. Don’t miss the spectacular song and dance performances, K-Pop and Gangnam Style dance contests, and delicious food!

Life’s a Stage
22-24 February at Tom Mann Theatre – $25 adults / $20 concession

This play tells the story of a Hong Kong opera star whose success required major sacrifices. When dying from a terminal illness, an opportunity arises to meet the son her married lover’s family forced her to give up.

2013 Golden Koala Chinese Film Festival
12-18 February at TBC – $17pp (bookings essential)

Discover the latest cinema from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Macau in this showcase of films competing for the Golden Koala Award, presented by the Chinese Film Festival.

Chinese New Year program at the Chinese Garden of Friendship

Open Day
10 February – free

Experience the beauty and architecture of an authentic Chinese garden at this free open day, with martial art performers from Australian Yau Kung Mun Martial Arts Association presenting the ancient Chinese lion dance in the garden forecourt.

Shaolin Monks Martial Arts Demonstration
16 February – $6 adults / $3 children (bookings essential)

Students from the Shaolin Monk Martial Arts Academy will go through their paces, complete with weapons and breaking boards.

Chinese Opera
23 February – $6 adults / $3 children (bookings essential)

The Australian Chinese Happy Choir will perform a range of opera styles in traditional costume.

Traditional Chinese Dance
24 February – $6 adults / $3 children (bookings essential)

The Ultimo Community Centre’s Chinese Seniors Group and Evergreen Performance Group will bring the elegance and beauty of traditional Chinese dance to the garden.

For more information, please contact:

City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Keeley Irvin.
Phone 0448 005 718 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Matt Levinson.
Phone 0427 044 768 or email