14 January 2019
Chatswood is bringing the true meaning of Lunar New Year to Sydney
On Saturday 16th of February at 6.30pm, Chatswood will transform into a hub of cultural festivities with the inaugural Lunar New Year Twilight Parade. The festive parade will showcase the exciting fanfare of a traditional Chinese New Year street parade and its meaning of good fortune for the New Lunar Year ahead.
Beginning at The Chatswood Interchange then walking through Chatswood Mall and down Victoria Avenue to Bertram Street, Chatswood will come alive with a celebration of lion dances, drummers and the God of Prosperity.
The parade is one of the major highlights of the Chatswood Year of the Pig Festival, a three week-long cultural festival running from the 29th of January to the 19th of February 2019, hosted by Willoughby City Council. The festival will bring Sydney into the New Year in true Chinese style - with luck, prosperity and good health for all. It will celebrate the rich cultural diversity of the Chatswood area and wider Sydney.
With understanding comes appreciation - here are some of the attractions visitors can expect to see at the Lunar New Year Twilight Parade, and the meaning behind each of these traditional components:
1. Lion dances to ward off evil.
A celebration dating back over a thousand years, martial arts performers mimic lion’s movements while dressed in larger than life lion costumes. Performing to the sounds of drums and gongs; this flamboyant and acrobatic performance wards off evil spirits, bringing good luck and fortune. Entertaining for adults and children alike, this traditional Lunar New Year performance is a cultural event not to be missed.
2. Drums to create chaos.
The drummers present at the parade will lead the festivities with music and rhythm, accompanying the lion dancers to complete the experience of a genuine Lunar New Year parade. While the drums add to the musical sensations, they have another extremely important purpose in the festival. They create chaos and discourage spirits with ill intent, making way for good luck in the New Year.
3. God of Prosperity to bring good fortune into the New Year.
Lunar New Year is celebrated to bring luck, prosperity and good health for all. At this time the God of Poverty is sent off in Chinese culture to drive away bad luck and poverty and the God of Prosperity is invited into the year as a beacon of hope to improve peoples’ lives with wealth, good fortune and protection.
“We are thrilled to host the Lunar New Year Twilight Parade for the first time in Chatswood,” Willoughby City Council Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney said. “Visitors can expect to be amazed as they experience memorable performances inspired by a traditional Lunar New Year street parade. Senses will be heightened as the sounds of drums, the sights of dancers and bright costumes, and the energy of the coming New Year take over the streets of Chatswood.”
The Lunar New Year Twilight Parade is a free event.
Chatswood Year of the Pig Festival is brought to you by Willoughby City Council and supported by Precinct Partner General Chao, Golden Sponsors Chatswood Interchange, HKETO Sydney, Mercedes-Benz North Shore, Westfield Chatswood and cultural support from ACIAC and the Chinese Cultural Centre.
For more information, visit visitchatswood.com.au/lny2019
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