Happy Chinese New Years from Sydney!

February 18, 2013

If you are looking for “family friendly fun on a grand scale,” Sydney’s two week-long Chinese New Year celebration is your go-to location.  Sydney features the largest Chinese New Yearcelebration anywhere in the world outside of China–the city’s annual festivities contain about 80 smaller events over 2 weeks of celebration, capped off by a flurry of fireworks over the iconic Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House.  More than 100,000 people come just to the Chinese New Year Parade and hotel rooms are fully booked six months in advance.

Sydney is one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities, and, because of its proximity to Asia, has always been home to a large Chinese diaspora. Because Australia and China were both influenced by British colonialism, there has always been long-standing Chinese community dating from the mid-1800s.  Australia has been conscientious of celebrating its diverse population, and does not hold back for Chinese New Years–as you can see in this promotional video, almost all ethnic groups in Australia, including Aborigines, South Asian-Australians, and Japanese-Australians have a place in the Chinese New Year Parade!

It is just as common for non-Chinese to celebrate Chinese New Year in Sydney as it is for Chinese-Australians families of all sorts visit Circular Quay for the annual parade.  Almost every institution in Sydney–the Sydney Airport, Madame Tussaud’s, government buildings, aquariums–have special promotions for the holiday.  Similar to Chicago dying the city’s river green for St. Patrick’s Day, this year the iconic Sydney Opera House was decked out in red for Chinese New Year.  As the festivities grow larger and more extravagant every year, Sydney has become the second most popular location behind Dubai for upper class Chinese from the mainland to vacation during the two-week holiday.

To conclude this post, we want to share some more pictures and videos with you.  Our next stop on Wednesday will probably be one of our most … unique … stops.  It’s an area better known for cowboys and gold mining and the nickname “Big Sky Country.”  Yes, there’s even Chinese New Year Celebrations in the most remote corners of America!  Check back with us then.