28/01/2017 8:09 AM AEDT | Updated 28/01/2017 8:46 AM AEDT

Chinese New Year: Australia Welcomes Year Of The Rooster

The Lunar New Year is officially here.

Reuters Staff / Reuters
Lunar New Year celebrations have kicked off nationwide.

Chinese New Year celebrations will get into full swing around Australia on Saturday as about one fifth of the world's population rings in the year of the rooster.

In Sydney, the full program for Chinese New Year 2017 runs from January 27 to February 12 and was ignited on Friday night when the Sydney Opera House was turned red in spectacular fashion.

Food is a big focus for those celebrating the lunar new year and more than 2000 people are expected through the doors of the Sydney fish markets on Saturday, with mud crab said to be the catch of the day.

However, Sydney Fish Markets general manager Brian Skipper said there was more on offer at the fish markets than just seafood.

"We have a special visit today, we have the lion dancers coming in from 9.30am to 11.30am and they will be parading around the site and dancing on to the shops and collecting little red envelopes and wishing luck and prosperity," he told Macquarie Radio.

One big CNY drawcard in Sydney are 12 giant lanterns representing the animal signs of the Chinese Zodiac that line the foreshore from the Sydney Opera House to Dawes Point. They have been exclusively designed for the event by Asian-Australian artists and reach up to 10 metres tall.

Many other parts of the city, especially around Chinatown, are also decked out Chinese style.

Celebrating in the year of rooster. #chinesenewyear #chinesenewyearsydney #sydney #sydneyvibes

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Chinese New Year in Sydney #sydney #chinesenewyear #cny2017 #nsw #chinesenewyearsydney

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Celebrating in the year of rooster. #chinesenewyear #chinesenewyearsydney #sydney #sydneyvibes

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For foodies, Carriageworks is set to hold a special one-off night market on Saturday night in celebration of Chinese New Year, curated by chef Kylie Kwong.

In Melbourne, year of the rooster celebrations have also kicked off in style.

The Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival runs at numerous locations until February 12, covering Queensbridge Square through Chinatown to Docklands and the Chinese Museum.

Across the festival period there will be cultural dance performances, chinese cooking demonstrations, a giant Chai Shen, illuminated art, three oversized Chinese urns and a lion eye dotting ceremony.

Queen Victoria Market is also celebrating the Lunar New Year, with Chinese food and activities for the duration of celebrations.