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Countries around the world are gearing up to celebrate the Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, next week.

It is a huge event for billions of people filled with celebrations and long-held cultural traditions.

In Sydney, the city is preparing to roll out a host of events to celebrate the Year of the Tiger.
TAIPEI, TAIWAN - JANUARY 27: People wear protective face masks while shopping for Lunar New Year goods on January 27, 2022 in Taipei, Taiwan. Taiwanese will celebrate the Year of the Tiger in relative safety, as the country has managed the Covid-19 pandemic with moderate success compared to many in the region. (Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)
The world is preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year next week. (Getty)

What is Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year, also commonly referred to as Chinese New Year, starts on Tuesday, February 1.

It’s the start of the new year on the Chinese calendar.

In Sydney, which is known for its large celebrations, the festivities will occur between January 29 and February 13.

How do people celebrate Lunar New Year?

Most Asian countries celebrate Lunar New Year, as well as those with major populations, including Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

Lunar New Year usually falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice, which makes it move every year.

There are many traditional celebrations that occur during the Lunar New Year.

This includes senior family members handing out red envelopes containing money to younger ones.

Cleaning the house before the new year to get rid of back luck, and decorating the house with special symbols are also common.

Circular Quay, Sydney - 9th February 2019. City of Sydney present Sydney Lunar Festival. Community dance groups perform for the Lunar Spectacular Show.
Red symbolises joy for the Lunar New Year. (Chris Southwood (City of Sydney))

Red is a commonly seen colour during the Lunar New Year celebrations as it is the symbol of joy.

Red lanterns are often displayed during the celebrations.

Dancing dragons or lions, accompanied by the beating of drums, are said to banish evil spirits.

Reunion family dinners are also held on the eve of the Lunar New Year.

Is Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year the same thing?

Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year are usually terms used synonymously, however, the two can be celebrated on different dates in different cultures.

The different names can also be used in different countries.

Why is Lunar New Year important?

The Lunar New Year marks the start of a new year, according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

The celebrations are deeply rooted in history.

It marks a time of year for friends and family to spend time together.

Sydney prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year
This year is the Year of the Tiger. (Chris Southwood (City of Sydney))

What is the Chinese New Year animal for 2022?

The animal for 2022 is the tiger. Every year has a different animal, based on the Chinese Zodiac.

In Chinese folklore, tigers are the guardians of children.

Each year in a 12-year cycle is represented by a zodiac animal, each with its own attributes.

The animals are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

Each person has an animal that corresponds with the year they were born and it can represent important details in their life.

Circular Quay, Sydney - 9th February 2019. City of Sydney present Sydney Lunar Festival. People enjoy an LED lion and dragon performance in front of the monkey lantern.
Dragon dancing will be seen in the city’s streets. (Chris Southwood (City of Sydney))

What events are there in Sydney?

More than 80 events, exhibitions, concerts, outdoor displays and celebrations are planned across Sydney between January 29 and February 13.

The Lunar Lanes outdoor event will take place in Chinatown on Saturday, January 29 from 5pm to 10pm, featuring live entertainment, performers, markets stalls, food trucks, DJs and lion dancing.

Welcome to Koreatown will be a one-night event in Wilmot Street on February 12 from 5pm to 11pm. It will celebrate local culture, food and artists.

Illuminated lanterns featuring the 12 animals of the zodiac will be on display along George Street and Chinatown.

Sydney prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year
There are long-held traditions for the Lunar New Year. (Chris Southwood (City of Sydney))

The Lunar Spectacular Show at Town Hall on Saturday, February 12 will feature community performers.

Banners will be erected throughout the city featuring the work of five local Asian-Australian artists, showing what the Year of the Tiger means to them.

Dragon Boat Race competitions will be held over the weekend of Saturday, February 5 and Sunday, February 6 at Darling Harbour’s Cockle Bay.

The 100 Good Wishes quilt installation will be shown in Chinatown featuring artworks created by Sydney children.

Lion dancers will rove the streets of the city and Chinatown over the two-week period.

Is Lunar New Year a holiday in Australia?

The Lunar New Year is not a public holiday in Australia but it is becoming more widely observed.

Sydney prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year
Sydney will hold multiple events over the two-week period. (Chris Southwood (City of Sydney))

Lunar New Year COVID-19 restrictions

Under current restrictions in NSW, masks are mandatory in all indoor settings.

Singing and dancing in hospitality venues is banned.

There are also density limits on indoor hospitality venues of one person per two square metres.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said COVID-19 safety plans will be in place for all City of Sydney Lunar Festival events and NSW Health regulations will be followed.   

Sydney prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year
The city’s mayor says COVID-safe measures will be in place. (Chris Southwood (City of Sydney))

“Many events and programs across NSW continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent surge in case numbers,” she said.

“As we deal with the impacts of the latest Omicron variant, we will work with the NSW Government to ensure the event is managed in line with public health orders.”

Some Lithgow roads were forced to close due to the flooding.

Lithgow hit by flash flooding after sudden downpour

Ms Moore urged anyone attending Lunar New Year events to be vaccinated, wear a mask, and practise safe distancing.

Source: 9News

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