Media Releases

07 January 2020

Ten Things to do at Chatswood Year of the Rat Festival

20 January – 8 February

The three-week Chatswood Year of the Rat Festival is bursting with immersive and colourful experiences, designed to transport guests on a journey through Asia in Sydney’s very own Lower North Shore.

The Year of the Rat signifies the re-starting of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals and where better to celebrate than Sydney’s little Asia. Feng shui masters believe there is a giant dragon coiled around Sydney and its head is in Chatswood, which has made it a hub for the Asian community.

Ten must-try culinary and cultural activities to add to your to-do list include:

  1. Follow your nose to auspicious and creative dishes at "Lucky Chatty" Lunar New Year Dinner (Wednesday 5 February). The festive menu has been specially designed by author, television presenter, and Chatswood resident Adam Liaw and General Chao’s executive chef Son Sewoo. The two have paired up for an evening of culinary flair inspired by their travels around South East Asia, Korea and Japan.
  2. Count the 8,888 rats along the Chatswood Rat Attack trail through Chatswood’s CBD. The striking public artwork by Bruce Slorach features rat silhouettes adorned with custom-designed blue and white Chinoiserie-inspired print combining Australian and Asian flowers. Tag your photos with #chatswoodlny to join the digital trail.
  3. Celebrate the first day of the lunar calendar with Kung Fu demonstrations, drummers and a dancing Buddha at New Year’s Day at The Interchange (Saturday 25 January).
  4. Watch free up-and-coming Sydney K-Pop performances with SBS PopAsia host Andy Trieu (6-8pm, Thursday 30 January). The showcase will feature some of Australia’s favourite vocalists as they demonstrate why the craze has swept up both Asian and Western fans alike.
  5. Take yourself on Adam Liaw’s self-guided dumpling tour through Chatswood at your own leisure. Follow along as Adam reveals his favourite spots to find dumplings, which are considered a fortune food due to their resemblance to money purses. Catch Adam in-person at the King of Lunar Celebrations from 6pm-8pm on Thursday 30 January, for an evening of auspicious canapés and conversation with Neale Whitaker.
  6. Feast on ‘cheap eats’ from street food stalls at the Golden Market (9am to 9pm, Thursdays and Fridays). Take your pick of okonomiyaki, mee goreng, dim sum, zizime (Korean pancakes) and more.
  7. Play Jumbo Mahjong with the locals at the Chatswood Interchange (9am-2pm daily from 27 January to 1 February). Whether you’re an amateur or an expert, you can try your hand with the beautiful red and gold tiles featuring the Chinese Zodiac animals and descriptions of their characteristics.
  8. Be entertained by the ancient art of face changing and Chinese Opera at the Chinese New Year Celebration Day (Saturday 1 February). Welcome in the year of the rat at one of Sydney’s largest Chinese New Year celebrations, which is now bigger and better than ever with stages in the Chatswood Mall and The Concourse.
  9. Reflect on the contrast between Chinese-born photographer Grace Sui in Sydney, and Australian-born photographer David Cubby in China. The two exhibitions Where it Shines by Grace Sui; and Everyday Dignity: Between the village and the metropolis of Modern China by David Cubby have been curated by the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture in partnership with Willoughby City Council.
  10. Be mesmerised by some of the best lion dancers in the country at the Lunar New Year Twilight Parade (Saturday 8 February). The 1,000-year-old martial art of flamboyant and acrobatic performances wards off evil spirits, bringing good luck and fortune. Join the fanfare as the Chatswood CBD comes alive with a traditional Lunar New Year street parade.

For the full program visit

Official hashtag: #Chatswoodlny

Media Contact:
Julia Phipps
Media & Marketing Team Leader
Phone: 9777 7896

For non media related enquiries contact Willoughby City Council on 9777 1000 or