The sails of the world famous Sydney Opera House have changed colour to mark the start of the Lunar New Year of the Goat.
NSW Premier Mike Baird attended an event hosted by the Australian Council for the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of China for a special ‘lights on’ moment to light up the iconic sails.
“The Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most recognised buildings and we are proud to host the biggest Lunar New Year celebration outside of China,” Mr Baird said.
“It’s a spectacular sight to see the Sydney Opera House bathed in ‘China red’ as we farewell the Year of the Horse and welcome the start of the Year of the Goat.
“This is the third consecutive year the NSW Government has facilitated the lighting of our world famous icon for this special occasion.
“The beginning of the Lunar New Year has become an anticipated celebration in our multicultural State when we join all communities celebrating the New Year – including those from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore.
“As we farewell the Year of the Horse we reflect on the successes of the past 12 months and the strengthening of economic and cultural ties between China and NSW.
“We have strong cultural links to China. Around one in 10 people living in Sydney have Chinese ancestry and Mandarin is the second-most spoken language here after English.
“I travelled to China for my first official overseas visit as Premier, and the nation remains New South Wales’ biggest trading partner and source of international tourists and visitors.
“China remains a priority market for the NSW Government and last year we took another step forward, releasing our China strategy to ensure our efforts are focussed on increasing two-way trade and tourism.
“I look forward to joining in the celebrations and can announce the Opera House will be red again tomorrow night as we mark the first day of the Lunar New Year of the Goat,” Mr Baird said.
Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello also attended the lighting and said the Chinese community makes a valuable contribution to multicultural NSW.
“NSW is proudly home to nearly 400,000 people from Chinese ancestry and I acknowledge the Chinese Australian community for the significant contribution it makes to our state’s way of life.”