VIDEO: Chinese New Year parade in Parramatta

Thousands of revellers are expected to visit Parramatta for the Lunar New Year Twilight Festival in Church Street Mall tomorrow night.

The Sydney Youth Dragon and Lion Dance group will perform the traditional dances as part of the parade, which starts at 4.30pm.

Group co-ordinator Jane Quan-Ho said she looks forward to the parade each year because it gives her group the opportunity to share their culture with other people in the community.

Watch our video of the group preparing for the festivities below:

Ms Quan-Ho said Chinese New Year is celebrated by people from many countries in the Indo-China region over a period of two weeks.

"You eat something different each day," the Vietnamese-born Ms Quan-Ho said.

"We look forward to the new year celebrations every year, because traditionally work very hard all year long and don't take holidays, so the new year is a big celebration."

Spectators will welcome the Year of the Snake with traditional and contemporary performances and entertainment including traditional Chinese music, fire dancers, the exhilarating lion and dragon parade, acrobatics and interactive art and craft workshops. 

Ms Quan-Ho said people born in the year of the snake were thought to be very clever.

"This is actually the year of the water snake, which means that people born this year are gentle and soft.

"It is believed that if you smile at a person who was born in the year of the water snake, they will react very well, but if you're not nice to them they bite."

She said the 25 people in the dance group will perform traditional lion and dragon dances along Church Street to celebrate the occasion. 

Parramatta lord mayor John Chedid, said Parramatta is home to a diverse community and there is no need to travel elsewhere to get a taste of authentic culture. 

“Parramatta is home to many cultures from across Asia. You can get a taste of all the flavours of the world right here,” Cr Chedid said.

The line-up of entertainment will feature an electric performance from Korea’s newest girl band EvoL, singing their debut single We are a bit different.

People will be able to participate in free workshops and learn how to write your name in Chinese calligraphy or try their hand at origami, watch and learn some martial art techniques whilst kids can meet real live snakes and get their face painted. 

The God of Wealth will be greeting people to offer blessings, good luck and wealth throughout the event. 

In Chinese culture, the God of Wealth is worshiped by most people, and families hang a picture of him in their home for good blessings. 

A traditional fortune teller will also be available for those who are game for a reading. 

There will also be delicious Asian cuisine and desserts including dumplings, barbeque prawns, noodles and ice cream on offer.

Road closures from Church Street Mall  to Church Street South for the parade between 7pm and 7.30pm.

Roads affected are Church Street South, and the intersection around Argyle and Darcy streets.

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