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Australia's Sydney gears up for Lunar New Year celebrations

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SYDNEY, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) — Australia’s Sydney is getting ready to leap into the Chinese Lunar New Year and celebrate the Year of the Tiger, with its Chinatown to be transformed into a hub of family fun.

“Lunar Lanes,” a Sydney Lunar Festival event featuring roving performers from different Asian communities, market stalls, DJs, lion dancers and a night-time concert, will kick off from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. local time on Saturday.

The Year of the Tiger will fall on Feb. 1 this year.

The “Lunar Lanes” is also the first chance to see this year’s new crouching tiger lanterns, standing guard in Chinatown’s iconic Dixon Street Mall as part of the lunar lanterns display of the 12 zodiac animals.

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Tiger is the third zodiac sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle. The Chinese zodiac cycle contains 12 animals that record years and reflect people’s attributes: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

“Lunar Lanes is a wonderful way for people to enjoy the spirit of our 2022 Year of the Tiger celebrations,” said Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

“We launched this wonderful community celebration in 2020 and we’re looking forward to once again seeing people experiencing the cultural activities, entertainment and feasts on offer.”

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Among the main attractions this year, visitors also will get to see the Year of the Water Tiger art installation created by Sydney artist Susan Chen, running the length of Dixon Street Mall.

The artworks include a tiger lantern curtain strung overhead, ceramic designs wrapped around the street’s trees and tiger image decals dotted along the pavement.

Given the ongoing spread of the coronavirus, Moore said people still need to be cautious, follow health guidance and get vaccinated.

“Creating outdoor opportunities for visitors and residents is an essential part of what we’re doing to support our local businesses through these challenging times,” she said.

“By closing off streets, we’re creating extra space that will give people a safe way to support local businesses and re-engage with their community.”

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