Hundreds of Sydneysiders have crowded into the CBD's Belmore Park for the launch of the city's Chinese New Year Festival.
The annual markets offered a wide range of food, drinks and New Year gifts for those gathered to welcome the Year of the Snake.
From traditional stir fries to deep-fried apple spirals on sticks, revellers grazed their way around the park before the traditional ceremony brought dragons and lions to the stage.
A huge inflatable snake nodded in the breeze as local dignitaries, celebrities including former MasterChef winner Adam Liaw and members of the Chinese community gathered for the launch.
Kicking off proceedings, dancers clad in various snake costumes writhed on stage before a traditional indigenous welcome to country heralded the lion dancers.
Sydney's Chinese New Year partner city Shenzhen brought magician Xin Ya Fei accompanied by a folk singer to entertain the crowd, along with with a sneak peek from some of the 3500 performers expected at the Twilight Parade on February 17.
City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the markets were a great way to kick off the 80 events planned to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
"This started as a little small festival by the Chinese people in Chinatown and look at it now," she said.
The markets continue right across the weekend with plenty of entertainment including cooking demonstrations, martial arts displays and arts and crafts classes for children.