The Sydney Harbour Bridge, decked out in auspicious red and a glowing eight-meter-tall guard dog, unleashed the start of the biggest celebrations of the Lunar New Year outside Asia on Friday evening.
Sydney has officially welcomed the Year of the Dog, launching the city’s 22nd Chinese New Year Festival in spectacular style.
A traditional lion dance and eye-dotting ceremony below the giant, animated dog lantern at the Sydney Opera House kicked off activities around the harbour foreshore.Thousands of visitors enjoyed the festival atmosphere with the 12 glowing zodiac animals of the Lunar Lanterns exhibition, an illuminated harbour bridge and a fireworks display.
The festival’s hero dog lantern, designed by Chinese-Australian artist Song Ling, sat proudly at the side of the Sydney Opera House. The masterpiece was created by 18 skilled craftsmen and five seamstresses, using five tons of steel, 90 lights and more than 200 meters of fabric.
More than 80 related events will celebrate the Lunar New Year, from a traditional tea ceremony at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and congee breakfasts in Chinatown to art exhibitions and a Chinese opera performance. There will also be a dragon-boat race, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere with more than 3,000 paddlers participating.
The festival runs through March 4.
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily