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Iconic Sydney Opera House turns red to celebrate Chinese New Year

Updated: 2021-02-13 17:09 ( Xinhua )

The sails of the iconic Sydney Opera House were lit up in red on Thursday night to mark the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which is widely celebrated in Australia's Chinese and Asian communities.

New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee welcomed the upcoming Year of the Ox at the lighting-up ceremony.

"The Ox is said to be steadfast, strong and reliable, and we can all draw on these qualities as we work to stay safe during these unprecedented times," he said.

"The NSW government wishes all communities celebrating Lunar New Year a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year."

The Chinese New Year has become an inclusive and integral part of NSW culture. More than 80 events will take place in the state capital City of Sydney on Feb. 12-21, including free concerts, lion dance workshops, roving street performances, exhibitions, tours and sumptuous restaurant feasts.

City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the COVID-safe festivities were a chance to attract people back into the city and support local businesses impacted by the pandemic.

"We were in the midst of last year's Lunar New Year celebrations when the pandemic first hit Sydney. Almost overnight, Lunar New Year events and businesses in Chinatown and surrounds were greatly impacted," she said.

"This Lunar New Year we're welcoming people back to the city center with COVID-safe events, colourful decorations and roving performances that celebrate our multicultural community while supporting local businesses."

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