WITNESS the excitement and exhilaration of Chinese New Year as Sovereign Hill and the Chinese Australian Cultural Society Ballarat welcome in the Year of the Pig.
Over two Sundays (February 10 and 17), the outdoor museum will be awash with celebrations as visitors have the opportunity to watch, participate in and learn about Chinese culture and the experiences of Chinese miners during Ballarat’s gold rush.
On February 17, visitors can participate in a traditional Chinese New Year celebration at Sovereign Hill's Chinese camp. Starting at 10.45am, revellers can witness lions, drums and a traditional Chinese ceremony, before taking part in a special lion dance workshop at 12.30pm.
On both February 10 and 17 at 1pm, the spectacular Chinese dragon Xin Loong and Chinese lions will weave their way up Sovereign Hill’s Main Street for the annual Chinese New Year parade. The colour, spectacle and appearance of the lions and dragon are said to bring good luck and prosperity.
Visitors can also learn about the significance of the Chinese Year of the Pig and be enthralled by colourful performances of ribbon dancing, tai chi, and other traditional forms of Chinese entertainment.
Other activities will include:
- Hands-on activities
At the Horse Bazaar between 11am and 4pm, create your own Chinese paper pig, have your name written in Chinese characters, make a lucky money envelope and wish others good fortune, and watch a professional Chinese artist at work.
- Chinese camp tours
Visit the Chinese camp and discover how Chinese people lived on the goldfields during the gold rush. Guided tours in both Mandarin and English will run throughout the day.
- The Anti-Chinese League Performance
At the Victoria Theatre at midday, find out why some 19th century Europeans were determined to stop Chinese immigration in the 1850s. This lively performance will recreate a public meeting to ban Chinese people from the Ballarat goldfields and provide an insight into 1850s racism.
Over at the Gold Museum (opposite Sovereign Hill), discover some rare Chinese artefacts in a behind-the-scenes tour, make a wish at the wishing tree, or visit Conservation Corner to learn how the museum is preserving its Chinese processional lion. The lion dates back to the 1890s and is the oldest processional lion in Australia.