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    Chinese New Year celebrations will take centre stage at Darling Harbour’s Chinese Garden of Friendship, where an exciting two-week festival of traditional Chinese art, food and performance will be demonstrated in addition to hands-on workshops and tours, from February 13 – March 1 (inclusive).


    Martial arts will feature on February 13 with the award-winning Australian Yau Kung Mun Martial Arts Association to showcase their acrobatic skills with a traditional Chinese lion dance.


    The grace and beauty of the fan dance will be demonstrated by Fiona Maiyin Thockloth on Saturday February 14, 21 and 28 from 12.30-12.45pm.


    From 7pm-11pm on February 14, a spectacular one-night only Twilight Garden Party will take over the picturesque Chinese Garden in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Enjoy exclusive live art performances – including the creation of a large scale calligraphy work with food – by the internationally-acclaimed Yangjiang Group. Tickets are $45 each and include a cocktail upon arrival and a seven course tasting menu designed by Grasshopper Eating House and Bar.


    The Australian Chinese Brush Painting Society and Chinese artist Lan Jian will run workshops and demonstrations on February 22. Then on February 28, a hands-on workshop of the ancient art of Penjing (Chinese art form of creating miniature landscapes) will take place.


    Darling Harbour visitors can experience the harmony of yin and yang at the Chinese Garden of Friendship’s FREE open day on 1 March.


    Other FREE attractions at the Chinese Garden of Friendship every day of the two-weeks include a Kids@theArthouse display inspired by the Chinese lunar calendar, zodiac adventures, traditional Chinese story-telling, koi fish feeding and much more.


    Festivities continue in Darling Harbour with FREE daily dragon boat races in Cockle Bay, the Twilight Chinese New Year Parade and fireworks display until midnight on February 22, and the Chinese New Year Lantern Carnival from February 19-22 where thousands of hand-made lanterns are set afloat on Cockle Bay in a majestic display of colour and light. Also enjoy shadow puppetry, fortune-telling tea ceremonies and food stalls.


    The Chinese New Year celebrations are presented by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority as part of its Culture Beats program, a celebration of cultures from around the world.


    For more information and transport advice, visit darlingharbour.com.

    Also check-out Darling Harbour on Facebook, the Darling Harbour YouTube Channel and follow @DarlingHarbour on Twitter and on Instagram.





    FRIDAY 13


    Lion Dance on the Forecourt


    The lion dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune for the coming year. Be inspired by the award-winning Australian Yau Kung Mun Martial Arts Association as they breathe enchanting life into exquisite lion costumes with acrobatic prowess.


    Fri 13 Feb, 11am – 11.30am




    Twilight Garden Party


    Celebrate the Chinese New Year at a Twilight Garden Party, a one-off evening event at the Chinese Garden of Friendship. The 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art has invited Yangjiang Group to Sydney to present a major contemporary art project in the summer of 2015. This international creative collaboration includes a one-night only participatory performance and garden party at the Chinese Garden of Friendship. There’s live DJs, food and drinks from Sydney laneway pioneers Grasshopper Eating House and Bar, plus contemporary calligraphy with a fresh twist. Twilight Garden Party takes over the Chinese Garden on Valentine’s Day night.


    Sat 14 Feb, 7pm – 11pm

    $45 per person


    Fan Dance


    Presented by Fiona Maiyin Thockloth, the tradition of the Chinese fan dance has captivated audiences for two thousand years. Composed of consistently changing rhythms, the fan dance is the epitome of grace and poise.


    Sat 14, 21, 28 Feb, 12.30pm – 12.45pm

    FREE with garden entry



    13 FEB – 1 MAR
    神话里说 Legend Says….


    Gather in the Peaceboat Pavilion to hear an ancient tale of bravery, transformation and magic. According to the Chinese legend, a beautiful lady called Chang’e lives in a palace on the moon.  Find out how Chang’e ended up on the moon, and why, on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the year, families share mooncakes.


    Daily – 2pm.

    FREE with garden entry





    Hopes and Dreams for the Year of the Sheep. The sheep is a symbol of good luck, peace and harmony. Daydreaming all afternoon sounds heavenly to the Sheep. What does the Year of the Sheep mean to you? Write down your hopes and dreams for the Year of the Sheep and add them to the hanging display in the Hall of Longevity.


    FREE with garden entry


    Fish Feeding


    Join the garden’s horticulture team in the Lenient Jade Pavilion to meet some colourful koi. Attract the fish by clapping loudly, then share in the experience of feeding these delightful ‘living jewels’. The garden’s koi can live up to 35 years, thanks to the special attention and care they receive.


    Daily, 11.30am and 3.30pm

    FREE with garden entry



    The Emperor’s Quest – a Chinese zodiac adventure


    The 12 animals of the Chinese lunar calendar are hidden in the Chinese Garden. Each one has its own character and a whole treasure chest of legends—and one of the animals is you. The Emperor’s Quest is an interactive and fascinating journey into the ancient world of the Chinese zodiac, known as ‘Sheng Xiao’ or ‘birth sign’. And now there’s a new Emperor’s Quest app to add to the excitement!


    FREE with garden entry



    Chinese Garden Highlights Tours


    Begin your exploration of the Chinese Garden with a Highlights’ Tour. Be introduced to the history, landscape and cultural heritage of the garden on a 35-minute guided tour with one of our Interpretation Officers.


    Daily, 10.30am, 11.45am, 2.30pm

    FREE with garden entry


    Tai Chi Class


    Focus your mind and experience a state of mental clarity and calm with a Tai Chi class, conducted by Fiona Maiyin Thockloth from the Inner Peace & Wellbeing Centre. This is a popular class. Please arrive 15 minutes early and sign up on arrival at the garden.


    Sat 14, 21, 28 Feb, 11am – 12 noon

    FREE with garden entry


    Tea ceremony


    Christina Leung, owner of Zensation Tea House, conducts a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, in which every step is a sensory exploration steeped in culture.


    Sat 21 Feb, 1pm – 2pm

    FREE with garden entry


    Tea Leaf Reading by Tea by the Sea


    Experience the wonder of having your tea leaves read, where pictures emerge to reveal your past and future. Reading tea leaves has traditionally been practiced in many countries by women in the family.


    Sat 21 Feb, 2.45pm – 4.45pm

    $10 per reading, payable separately at the garden



    Chinese Brush Painting


    Artists from the Australian Chinese Brush Painting Society demonstrate the skilful art of Chinese brush painting as they create Chinese zodiac signs for you to take home.


    Sun 22 Feb, 11am – 1pm

    Free with garden entry


    Art in the Garden


    Lan Jian is a Chinese artist whose traditional watercolour style is utterly captivating.


    Learn from Lan how to create simple, yet enchanting, paintings of your own to take home and treasure. This is a popular class. Please arrive 15 minutes early and sign up on arrival at the garden.


    Sun 22 Feb, 2pm – 3pm and 3.30pm – 4.30pm

    FREE with garden entry



    The Art of Penjing Workshop


    Create your own Penjing to take home at a hands-on workshop and demonstration by Bonsai Environment. For families with children aged eight years and up.


    This is a popular class. Please arrive 15 minutes early and sign up on arrival at the garden.


    Sat 28 Feb, 1pm – 3pm

    FREE with garden entry



    MARCH 1
    Open Day at the Chinese Garden


    Experience the harmony of the yin and yang that guide the ancient traditions of landscaping, architecture and design at the Chinese Garden of Friendship on this free open day.


    Sun 1 Mar, 9.30am – 5.30pm.

    Timed entries at 9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm, 4.30pm



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