9 February 2024

Celebrate the Year of the Wood Dragon in Dickson

| Lucy Ridge
Traditional Lion Dancer in outfit with festival attendees.

Lunar New Year celebrations at Dickson 2023. This year’s celebrations kick off on Saturday. Photo: City Renewal Authority.

The City Renewal Authority is ringing in the Year of the Wood Dragon with a Lunar New Year celebration in Woolley Street, Dickson, tomorrow (10 February).

Lunar New Year is celebrated by many Asian cultures with a range of different traditions associated with the festivities.

The family-friendly celebrations in Dickson will include performances from a range of professional and community groups, including Canberra Dragon Dance and Prosperous Mountain Lion Dance.

Woolley Street is home to some of Canberra’s best-loved Asian restaurants and has a thriving multicultural community. These celebratory events aim to educate Canberra’s broader public about the cultural importance of the Lunar New Year, as well as providing inclusive opportunities for performance groups and stallholders to proudly display their culture.

Performers wiht bamboo poles and traditional lion costume in front of large crowd.

Around 7000 people were estimated to attend the event in 2023, and organisers are expecting more on Saturday. Photo: City Renewal Authority.

In addition to performances, there will also be opportunities for people to try out the traditional artforms of Chinese Classical Dance and Calligraphy. Families will enjoy face-painting and balloon workshops, and the roving Kung Fu performances are sure to be a hit (and a high kick).

“Dickson will come to life with music, dance, and colour this Saturday,” Chief Minister Andrew Barr said.

“There will be something for everyone with a program of entertainment and activities that exhibits the rich multiculturalism of Dickson and the Canberra community.

“As a free and low-cost activity, the event encourages people to shop, eat, get out and about, and enjoy themselves. Attendees of the Dickson Lunar New Year celebration can immerse themselves in Asian cultures and discover a new experience.”

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Many local food businesses will be providing delicious food and drinks on the day. Food stalls will line Woolley Street with offerings from Chongqing Street Noodle, 7 Village Indian, BanMe and more. Or attendees can retreat into the calm of one of Dickson’s much-loved Asian restaurants and enjoy a sit-down meal.

More than 7000 people attended the festivities last year, and plans have been made to accommodate even more this year as the event gets bigger and better than ever before.

“The upgrades completed on Woolley Street by the City Renewal Authority have helped develop Dickson as a dining destination and cultural centre. There are further improvements on the way with business and community consultation to begin soon for upgrades at the Dickson shops,” Mr Barr said.

The upgrades include an improved pedestrian crossing at the Cape Street intersection, shared al fresco seating, water play feature and more street furniture.

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Dickson has been the location of choice for several years of Lunar New Year Celebrations. An origami-inspired metal statue of a rabbit was erected last year to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, and this year, there will be a wooden dragon statue.

The dragon is one of the 12 zodiac signs that create a 12-year cycle, but in traditional Chinese cosmology, there is also a five-year cycle of basic elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth.

Celebrate Lunar New Year at Woolley Street, Dickson, from 11 am to 11 pm on Saturday, 10 February. Entry is free and attendees are encouraged to use public transport. Find out more at the City Renewal Authority website, or see the Facebook event.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

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