Sydney welcomed in the Lunar New Year on Friday (February 16), heralding the Year of the Dog by illuminating the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in bright red.

Locals and tourists descended around the city’s Circular Quay to watch traditional Chinese lion dancing, the lighting of 12 fluorescent lanterns – representing the 12 animals of the zodiac – and street performances.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said 1.4 million people visited last years celebrations and were hoping that this year – the 22nd festival since inception – would emulate that.

The Lunar New Year festival will run from February 16 to March 4, with more than 80 events planned across the harbour city including night food markets and dragon boat racing.