Lunar New Year

By Discover Parramatta

To celebrate the Year of the Ox we’re bringing you a lighting installation, special offers at Asian restaurants and a competition to win a $100 AT Parramatta gift card. 

Lunar New Year is one of the most highly anticipated events on the East Asian cultural calendar and one of our favourite festivals in Parramatta. 

Celebrated by many different cultures around the world, The Lunar New Year festivities are a time for food, family, religious ceremony, and honouring ancestors. 

Friday 12 February marks the end of the Year of the Rat and the beginning of the Year of the Ox. The Ox is the second animal in the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle, after the rat and before the tiger. People born in the year of the Ox are considered hard workers, honest, intelligent, and reliable, but never demanding praise.



Parramatta's Lunar New Year celebrations

The Lunar New Year festival is usually one of our major events in Parramatta, bringing people from all over Sydney for food markets and entertainment. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the City of Parramatta can't present the usual Lunar New Year's celebrations this year. 

What happening in Parramatta:

1) Lighting installation:

To celebrate the Year of the Ox, we invite you to come to Centenary Square between 12-26 February to see our beautiful walk-through lighting installation.

2) Competition: 

One of the most famous traditions in greeting someone during Lunar New Year, is the Cantonese kung hei fat choi, which literally means ‘greetings, become rich”. In the spirit of the season, we are ran a competition and gave away 5 x $100 AT Parramatta gift cards. 

3) Eat delicious Asian cuisine:

As a multi-cultural foodie hub, Parramatta has so many different Asian eateries to choose from. Explore our Parramatta Lunar New Year foodie guide to search the map for great local gems for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Keep an eye out for special Lunar New Year offers announced by the local restaurants. 



Asian restaurants in Parramatta

Parramatta is one of Australia's most multicultural cities, with over 140 different languages spoken. As a richly diverse cosmopolitan City, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to experiencing cuisines from around the world. 

Chinese, Malay, Singaporean, VietnameseTaiwaneseThai, Korean and many more eateries. The diversity of Asian restaurants in Parramatta is one of the things that positions our City at the Centre of Global Sydney. 

Particularly given the impacts of COVID-19 on small, local businesses, we are encouraging residents and visitors to celebrate Lunar New Year by feasting at one of our many amazing Asian restaurants. Our Parramatta Lunar New Year foodie map is a great place to start. 



Previous Parramatta Lunar New Year Festivals

The Lunar New Year Festival is usually a major event in Parramatta, bringing huge crowds from all over Sydney, music and dance, workshops, food, firecrackers and performers into the CBD. To keep our community safe during the COVID-19 situation, celebrations are scaled down this year however we hope to bring them back again when it is safe to do so. 







The Year of the Ox

Enlarged image of the cattle at “Kings School, Parramatta” as sketched by F. C. Terry, 1855. (Source: M. A. Cameron & State Library of New South Wales)

As the second of the zodiac animals, the Ox is a valued animal in Chinese culture. The myth goes that the Jade Emperor decreed that the order of animals would be decided by the order they arrived at his party. According to the story, the Ox was set to come first but was tricked by the rat into giving him a ride. Just before they arrive, the rat jumped off the Ox's back and beat him to the finish line, making the Ox the second animal in the zodiac. 

People born in the years  1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, and 2021 are born in the year of the Ox.

The Ox's role in agriculture gives people born under this zodiac sign attributes like being hardworking, honest, reliable and humble. They rarely lose their temper, think logically and make great leaders. 

The zodiac signs they Ox are most compatible with are rat, snake and rooster. They are least compatible with goat, horse and dog signs. 

Lucky things for Oxen:

  • Colours: blue, yellow, green
  • Numbers: 1,4 
  • Flowers: lucky bamboo and lily of the valley

Unlucky things for Oxen:

  • Colors: red, brown
  • Numbers: 3, 6

Find out more about the Year of the Ox.