New lunar lanterns add star lights to festival

Posted .

Four spectacular new zodiac lanterns will be part of the City of Sydney’s 2017 Chinese New Year festival celebrating the Year of the Rooster.

The giant artworks, representing animal signs of the Chinese zodiac, will join the Lunar Lanterns exhibition that featured as part of the 2016 Chinese New Year festival and which attracted 1.3 million visitors.

The new animal lanterns – a rooster, rat, pig and snake – will be located in key locations throughout the city from 27 January to 12 February 2017.

Interactive lighting and design architects, Amigo & Amigo, will design new concepts for the rooster and snake lanterns, Chinese Australian artist Guo Jian will design the rat, and the pig will be created by Beijing-born artist and sculptor, John Deng.

Next year will be the 21st anniversary of the festival and the second year the City has exhibited Lunar Lanterns.

City of Sydney CEO, Monica Barone, said the new lanterns will mean even more people can enjoy the 2017 Lunar Lanterns exhibition and Chinese New Year celebrations.

“Our first-ever Lunar Lanterns were a huge hit in 2016, attracting more than 750,000 visitors and providing more than 1000 community group members with the opportunity to perform at each lantern.

“These new lanterns will help us continue to build on what is one of the biggest and most successful Lunar New Year celebrations outside of Asia. I look forward to seeing the lantern designs by local artists.”

Festival curator, Claudia Chan Shaw, said the City will work with artists to deliver the new lanterns.

“For more than 2,000 years the lantern has been an important part of Chinese New Year celebrations and the Lunar Lanterns exhibition is a modern, contemporary twist on this ancient tradition,” Claudia said.

“Lunar Lanterns will encourage more visitors into the city, providing a boost for local retailers as well as showcasing a variety of community performances and events throughout the 2017 festival.”

From its modest beginnings in 1995 as a community street market, the Sydney Chinese New Year Festival has grown to become one of the largest celebrations of the Lunar New Year outside of Asia.

The festival will include favourite events like the Dragon Boat races at Darling Harbour, Westpac Lunar Lantern Hub, Westpac Painting the Town Red and an extensive associated program of more than 80 partner events.

For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Advisor Elaine Kelly on 02 9265 9201 or

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