Thousands flock to Parramatta for Chinese New Year parade

More than 6000 visitors celebrated the Lunar New Year Twilight Festival in Parramatta last Friday night.

Revellers welcomed the Year of the Snake with traditional and contemporary performances and entertainment including traditional Chinese music, fire dancers, the exhilarating lion and dragon parade, Asian food stalls, acrobatics and interactive art and craft workshops. 

Prior to the event the Sydney Youth Dragon and Lion Dance 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.

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."

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."

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.

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