Sydney celebrates Chinese New Year with dragon boat races -

February 04, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News can announce that a colourful fleet of dragon boats will race across Sydney's Darling Harbour as part of the city's Chinese New Year festival next month.

The dragon boat event has been scheduled for February 27th and 28th, with over 3,000 competitors due to take part.

According to the City of Sydney, the race is now the biggest dragon boat meeting in the southern hemisphere and has become a "much-loved crowd pleaser" for people staying in Sydney hotels.

Before the first race begins, new dragon boats must be "brought to life" in a special ceremony which involves daubing red paint on the eyes of each vessel's figurehead.

People arriving at Darling Harbour early can see the eye-dotting ritual from 10:15 local time on February 27th.

Located on the outskirts of the Australian city's central business district, the harbour is easily accessible by train, bus and the Metro Monorail.

The Darling Harbour precinct contains several popular attractions, including the Chinese Garden of Friendship, the Sydney Entertainment Centre and the Star City Casino.

Sydney's Chinese New Year festival runs from February 12th to 28th and features other events such as the twilight parade, which takes place on February 21st.