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Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival in the Hills Shire

With only a few weeks left, Hills Shire Council has been preparing for the upcoming Lunar New Year (Yuan Xiao Jie) with its own Lantern Festival in Castle Hill on Saturday, 24 February 2024.

Hills residents can expect a night of Asian food, activities, and culture at Arthur Whitling Park in partnership with The Hills Chinese Association. On-stage cultural performances alongside food stalls, free craft activities, and face painting will be present.

Hundreds of lanterns will illuminate the park in Castle Hill as symbols of the new lunar year’s first full moon and the end of the Year of the Wood Dragon celebrations. The activities start at 3:00 PM and conclude at 9:00 PM.

Dr Peter Gangemi, Mayor of the Hills Shire, is excited to see the festival come to life in The Hills Shire.

“Lantern Festival is traditionally held on the last day of Lunar New Year festivities to celebrate the first full moon on the New Year,” Mayor Gangemi said.

“Lunar New Year is one of the most important celebrations in many Asian cultures, such as Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Indonesian.

“We are lucky to have a diverse population in The Hills, with more than 20 percent of residents born in these countries.

“I’m looking forward to providing our residents with the opportunity to celebrate with their community close to home.

“The Lantern Festival will be a wonderful cultural experience for all of our residents, and I encourage everyone to join in the celebrations.”

Anna Hu, President of The Hills Chinese Association, said the Association is proud to co-host the Lantern Festival with the Council.

Hills shire council, in partnership with the hills chinese association, will be having its lantern festival on 24 february 2024 © john appleyard/snappleyard

“This celebration recognises the significance of this holiday to Asian cultures,” President Hu said.

“Lantern Festival celebrates the beginning of spring [in Asia] and symbolises unity and reconciliation.

“It brings a piece of our homeland to The Hills and provides the entire community with the chance to celebrate and learn about different Asian cultures.”