Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Chinese New Year 2023 – Year of the Water Rabbit

Society is built around tradition. We celebrate Christmas, New Year, Easter, Australia Day, and Anzac Day because of some sort of tradition or practice in honour of someone, something, customs, or beliefs. Being one of the oldest cultures in the world, the Chinese culture is noted for being traditional and one of the biggest traditions that the Chinese culture has is the celebration of Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year.

Chinese New Year is an annual celebration where Chinese families pay respect to their ancestors, thank the gods for good life, pray for good fortune, and gather for a reunion dinner. This year, Chinese New Year is on the 22nd of January, and we are celebrating the Year of the Water Rabbit.

2023 is the Year of the Water Rabbit, which symbolises pureness and auspiciousness. For Chinese people, the rabbit is a tame creature representing hope and life for a long time. The rabbit is the luckiest of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. Expect this year to bring prosperity, hope, and calm. 

While 2022 was a yang year, meaning it was more about action, 2023 will be a yin year and much more passive. There will be moments for reflections, rest, and renewal. This softer approach may be the necessary reprieve after an action-packed 2022. It will also aid your ability to confidently and quietly overcome any obstacles to your goals.

This year’s element is water, meaning things feel more fluid or require more fluidity. If you’re used to rigidly planning things, a “go with the flow” approach may serve you better this year. 

Traditionally, Chinese communities from around the world close down businesses, streets, and parks to make room for brilliant parades of dancing dragons, acrobatics, Chinese lanterns and fireworks, along with the beating of dozens of Tanggus (Chinese drums). Families flock to the streets to witness the grand parades prepared by their communities, while some take to the temples to bring offerings of prayer and food to their gods, ancestors, and deceased loved-ones.

New Year’s Eve is then celebrated with an exceptional feats of traditional Chinese meat dishes, hotpot, vegetables and noodles to symbolise longevity and round-shaped fruits to symbolise the shape of coins. On the strike of midnight, traditional Chinese families then greet the new year by eating dumplings of glutinous new year cake.

Some of these traditions are observed in other countries but have been modernised to adjust to different demographics. Sydney, being a basin of diverse culture, is not a step behind the forges in presenting a rather exciting yet traditional series of events in the celebration of the Chinese New Year.

If you are looking for some fun this Chinese New Year, check out this list of events happening across Sydney. 

David Jones Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with activations, photo booths, awe-inspiring lion dances, and more.

When: Thursday 19th January to Sunday 22nd January, 11am – 5pm
Where: Elizabeth Street, Sydney

More details here

Dixon Street Rabbits

The Dixon Street ground-based rabbits are designed with a contemporary minimalist approach, focussing on the bulbus spherical form of the rabbit.

The body is covered in coloured acrylic squares, with the tail and ears vectored in opal acrylic. The rabbits are internally lit.

When: Saturday 21st January to Monday 6th February, all day
Where: Dixon Street, Sydney

More details here

Lion Dancing

The City of Sydney’s lion dancing troupes will ring in the Lunar New Year with plenty of drumming, flamboyance and skill.

Lion dancing performances will be held every day of the Festival throughout various locations:

When: Saturday 21st January to Sunday 5th February

  • Monday to Thursday, 12pm and 12.30pm at various locations
  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 7.30pm and 8pm at Dixon Street Mall, Chinatown

More details here

Lunar New Year at Luna Park Sydney

Head to Luna Park Sydney on Saturday the 21st of January to celebrate the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Rabbit with special food and entertainment.

When: Saturday 21st January, 10am – 10pm
Where: 1 Olympic Drive, Milsons Point

More details here

Sydney Lunar Streets – Haymarket street festival

Kick off your lunar new year celebrations at Sydney Lunar Streets – part of the 2023 Sydney Lunar Festival. 

The streets of Haymarket will buzz with live entertainment, roving performers, food trucks, market stalls, DJs and plenty of Instagram moments. 

When: Saturday 21st January, 5pm – 10pm
Where: Dixon Street, Haymarket

More details here

Lion Dancers – Chinese New Year!   

Chinese New Year Lion Dancers are coming back to Pittwater!

Come in for dinner and experience this amazing performance as the Lion Dancers make a special appearance throughout the Club. They also have yummy Chinese New Year specials starting in Wok O’Clock on Saturday 21st

When: Saturday 28th January, 7pm
Pittwater RSL, 82 Mona Vale Road, Mona Vale

More details here

Dragon boat races

Paddlers churn the water as spectators watch the 12m long dragon boats battle it out.

Originating in the rivers of Southern China as a way to bring prosperous rains, today’s dragon boat racing has evolved into a fast-paced water sport.

When: Saturday 28th January, 8am – 5pm and Sunday 29th January, 8.30am – 3pm
Where: Darling Park, Sydney

More details here

Lunar spectacular show

Community and cultural groups will take to the stage for this year’s Lunar Spectacular Show in celebration of The Year of the Rabbit.

Performers will share their culture through dance, music, theatre, traditions and storytelling.

When: Saturday 4th February, 10.30am – 11.30am, 1pm – 2pm and 3pm – 4pm
Where: 483 George Street, Sydney

More details here

Welcoming the Year of Rabbit: Chinese Culture Workshops

These Chinese New Year workshop brings learning to life through a full day of LIVE cultural activities to celebrate one of the world’s oldest cultures, right from the comfort of your own home. Alongside the native Chinese specialists, they will also deliver the sessions at the Maritime Museum, immersing participants in the country’s traditions.

When: Saturday 4th February and Sunday 5th February, 10.30am – 4pm
Where: Australian National Maritime Museum, 2 Murray Street, Sydney

More details here