Woof! Giant dog at Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House will usher in the Year of the Dog with sails lit lucky red, a giant eight-metre Lunar Lantern of man’s best friend – complete with wagging tail –and a glowing wishing tree from Friday 16 February.

Created by Chinese-Australian artist Song Ling, the multi-coloured illuminated dog lantern is the centerpiece of the City of Sydney’s popular Lunar Lanterns exhibition, which lights up Circular Quay and attracted record crowds of more than 950,000 people in 2017.

Sydney’s 16-day Lunar New Year festivities are already one of the largest celebrations outside mainland China, with 1.4 million visitors last year.

 Jade McKellar, Sydney Opera House Director of Visitor Experience, said man’s best friend will bring good fortune and prosperity to the Sydney Opera House and its visitors, making the Opera House a must-see destination to usher in the Year of the Dog.

“The entire precinct will come to life with special Chinese New Year events and activities to bring local and international visitors together, from picture perfect photo opportunities to music and delicious dining,” Ms McKellar said.

In line with latest figures from Tourism Australia predicting that China is set to become Australia’s largest inbound tourism market, the Opera House has seen significant growth in Mandarin-language tours over recent years. The tours are now taken by one in five Chinese visitors to Sydney, and attracted more than 161,000 guests in 2017. A total of 25,000 Chinese visitors are expected to take a Mandarin-language tour during the upcoming Lunar New Year period.

“The Lunar New Year festivities build on our growing year-round program of tours and dining experiences for Chinese tourists,” Ms McKellar said. “They provide a chance for not only international visitors but also Sydneysiders to experience the Opera House in an entirely new way.”