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5 February, 2021

Welcome to the Year of the OX

MUCH-needed good luck and prosperity will be showered upon the Cairns community as a two-week program of colourful Chinese New Year Celebrations start this afternoon, Friday February 5.

By Tanya Murphy

Lion Dancers

This year will be the Year of the Ox in the Chinese calendar, and the Ox’s traits of strength, reliability and determination are just what we need to face our second year of global pandemic.

Mayor Bob Manning will join the Cairns and Districts Chinese Association (CADCAI) to launch the celebrations at the Pier Shopping Centre from 5pm to 6pm this afternoon, with performances from the CADCAI Molihua (jasmine flower) dancers and Chinese Lion and Dragon performers.

The main event, Lunar New Year Day next Friday February 12, will see a celebration at the Cairns Esplanade Eastern Events Lawn.

Starting at 5pm, revellers can witness cultural performances including drumming, CADCAI dragon and lions, and have the opportunity to purchase Chinese trinkets to decorate their homes and shops, before enjoying firecrackers and fireworks at 7:30pm.

Celebrations will conclude at the Lagoon on February 26 with the Lantern Festival, an opportunity for community members to come together, put a wish on a floating lantern, and release it in the lagoon for a spectacle of hopes and wishes for the new year.

The festival invites all to enjoy the delightful melding of heritage, culture and entertainment with the full program available at

CADCAI President Mel Kingsley said the organisation had a rich 145-year history in Cairns and the Lunar New Year was an opportunity to wish the local community “gong xi fa cai” (pronounced gong-zee-fah-tsai) meaning Good Fortune and Prosperity.

“Our celebrations highlight the important history of the Chinese peoples in Cairns, and we are proud to present the celebrations for the 18th year,” she said.

“On behalf of the Cairns Chinese community, we invite all to come and enjoy the Lunar New Year celebrations and share in the good luck of the Year of the Ox.”

This event is made possible by CADCAI in association with the Cairns Regional Council, Department of Multicultural Affairs Queensland and local businesses.

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