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Six Ways to Ring in the Year of the Tiger at The Rocks

Celebrate the new year by catching a thought-provoking talk, browsing a night market or soaking up good fortune through auspicious Lunar New year traditions.
By Reema Hindi
January 28, 2022
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By Reema Hindi
January 28, 2022
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Kiss the last (lunar) year goodbye and head to The Rocks this February to welcome the Year of the Tiger. There's plenty to see and do at the harbour-side precinct this summer, but come February it will transform for a Lunar New Year celebration with a stacked program of events.

Soak up good fortune and prosperity among glowing red lanterns, traditional lion dances, the aroma of street food, live music and more. Here is how to ring in the Year of the Tiger at The Rocks.

EXPAND YOUR MIND AT ADAM LIAW IN CONVERSATION

Commence the festivities with some cultural and culinary expertise from one of Australia's most beloved foodies. The Lunar New Year In Conversation series will feature cook, writer and television presenter Adam Liaw. Drawing from his life and career, Liaw will offer a unique insight into Asian influence on the Australian palate, as well as the origins of Lunar New Year.

Head to The Rocks Square from 4pm on February 4 and 12 to catch the free talk.

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EXPLORE FOOD, BEERS AND ENTERTAINMENT AT THE ROCKS LUNAR MARKETS

Continue your culinary journey at The Rocks Lunar Markets, which will be running over the first two weekends of February. Wander beneath hundreds of red lanterns and take in live music by local performers as you explore the rows of stalls, serving up delicious street eats – think mouthwatering skewers, Malaysian street food and a host of international sweet and savoury delights from lokma to pizza — which you can enjoy while browsing local art and textiles.

Then, head to the Tiger Beer Lunar Bar to cool off — it'll be open from 5–10pm on Fridays, and from 12pm on the weekends. Located on Playfair Street, the pop-up bar will be serving ice-cold beers, perfect to enjoy while taking in the buzzing atmosphere as you stroll around the markets. It'll all be set to a soundtrack of live entertainment, with the lineup featuring local talent including DJ Mowgli May and more.

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SOAK UP GOOD FORTUNE AT A LION DANCE, ZODIAC READING OR WITH LUNAR NEW YEAR CALLIGRAPHY

If you're in need of some good luck, make sure you don't miss out on the traditional new year Lion Dance. On the first two Fridays (6pm), Saturdays (12pm, 3pm and 6pm) and Sundays (12pm and 3pm) of February, the Lion and Happy Buddha will be roaming the streets with a drumming team to spread new year fortune.

For a more personalised experience, take a seat for a free Chinese zodiac horoscope reading and find our what the Year of the Tiger might have in store for you. Or choose your own destiny with the wonderfully preserved ancient and expressive art of Chinese calligraphy. Get a free lucky calligraphy bookmark which you can adorn with an auspicious saying of your choice.

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Anna Kucera

CATCH A LUNAR-INSPIRED MOVIE AT LANEWAY CINEMA: LUNAR EDITION

On Wednesday and Friday nights you can snag a bean bag or deck chair and relax among the sandstone buildings in the picturesque Laneway Cinema. This Lunar New Year will have some special lunar-themed screenings, with the likes of Crazy Rich Asians, The Joy Luck Club, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Mao's Last Dancer all on the lineup. Entry to the cinema is free, but get in quick as it's first come, first served.

There'll be an international array of eats on offer, too, like Impossible burgers by Butter, fresh pizza from Caminetto, Korean street food from Chikin Ajumma, or Tex-Mex from El Camino Cantina.

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CATCH A LARGER-THAN-LIFE YEAR OF THE TIGER INSTALLATION

The Year of the Tiger symbolises strength, resilience and bravery — which couldn't be more appropriate this year. Get up close and personal with this giant Sumatran tiger cub for your essential Lunar New Year photo op.  This magnificent feline forms the centrepiece of the impressive Year of the Tiger Installation, which will take pride of place at Circular Quay Promenade from February 1–14.

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TUCK INTO AUSPICIOUS LUNAR NEW YEAR MENUS AT BLU BAR AND SERGEANT LOK

Ring in the new year with a touch of luxury and head to Blu Bar on 36 at the Shangri-La Hotel, where you can indulge in a decadent Cantonese dining experience paired with a Chinese-inspired cocktail. Enjoy sharing-style dishes like seared scallops and XO sauce or roast duck with egg noodles, all with a near-unbeatable view of Sydney Harbour from the 36th floor.

Closer to sea level, book a special Lunar New Year banquet at Sergeant Lok, the beautiful establishment serving impressive modern Chinese cuisine. The banquet will feature the traditional dish lo hei, an auspicious dish for this time of year that's said to bring good luck. A legend says the higher you toss the ingredients, the better luck you will receive in the new year. This year, Sergeant Lok has added a touch of glamour to the traditional dish in the form of a special champagne sauce.

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There's plenty more to see and do to celebrate Lunar New Year at The Rocks this year. Find out more at the website.

Published on January 28, 2022 by Reema Hindi

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