Sydney’s diverse multicultural identity ensures a never-ending array of fabulous festivals in which visitors can often participate alongside the locals.
Neighborhood festivals might celebrate anything from a local ethnic community to specialty food, the arts or a religious occasion, and they happen throughout the year. In Leichhardt, the Sydney Italian Festival takes place in May; at Redfern, the Dank Street Festival of culture and heritage is held in October; and Cabramatta’s Moon Festival occurs at the moon’s equinox, usually in September.
Starting with a traditional corroboree (traditonal Aboriginal gathering), Yabun is the indigenous celebration of Australia Day (January 26) by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Held in Victoria Park, on the western edge of the city, the main stage hosts a diverse line-up of indigenous comedians, musicians, and celebrities to entertain the crowds. Stalls offering crafts, food, face-painting, and more line the park and add to the festivities.
The Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (see pp66–7) is much more than just a colorful parade of floats and costumes. Held over three weeks in February and March, its diverse events include cabarets, film festivals, live theater, history walks, and a hugely popular picnic called Fair Day, all culminating in the riotous night-long Mardi Gras Party.
Chinese New Year
Dank St Festival Redfern;
Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Moon Festival Cabramatta;
Sydney Italian Festival Leichhardt;
Yabun Victoria Park, Camperdown;