Sun City celebrates Chinese New Year with treats and festivities

The Chung Wah Dragon and Lion Dance Troupe performing at Chinese New Year festivities at Sun City. Picture: Supplied

The Chung Wah Dragon and Lion Dance Troupe performing at Chinese New Year festivities at Sun City. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 1, 2023


Sun City was decked in traditional red and gold as it ushered in the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rabbit, considered a particularly auspicious year of peace, prosperity and luck.

The 2023 Chinese New Year celebrations started on January 22 and festivals last up to February 5.

However, Sun City hosted a three-day event, from January 20 to 22 in association with the SA-Chinese Community Police Co-operation Centre and Shunde Dining Entertainment Group to ring in the new year.

The celebrations also marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Africa and China.

Multicoloured flames pirouetted across the Pilanesberg sky as part of the traditional fireworks display. Picture: Supplied

According to Sun City, the Chinese New Year theme delighted guests from the entrance to check-in to thrills at the casino.

“Auspicious Chinese foods and teas were on offer in lobbies and at the buffets, and cash give-aways in traditional red envelopes were the order of the day, along with Year of the Rabbit gaming promotions. Golden chocolate bunnies awaited guests in their rooms, promising a sweet dose of good fortune,” said the resort.

Sun City general manager Brett Hoppé expressed his “absolute delight” to host the New Year event and his excitement about the year ahead.

“The importance of the Chinese market to Sun International – both domestically and internationally – is massive. While China has been on Covid-19 lockdown, the local Chinese community has supported us immensely across all our units, so it’s a real privilege to be able to celebrate with them and say thank you. Sun City is a symbol in China, and we use that as a foothold,” said Hoppé.

Dinner setting decked with red and gold to ring in the Chinese New Year. Picture: Supplied

According to Sun City, the highlight of the weekend was a glittering dinner for more than 1 000 guests at the Green House at the Gary Player Country Club. The picturesque venue was filled with cheerful sentiments as the baijiu spirit flowed, and toasts and speeches honoured the rabbit and Chinese-South African relations.

Dignitaries in attendance included Xu Changbin from the All-Africa Peaceful Reunification Association of China and Yin Qi, representing the Chinese embassy in South Africa.

Sun International’s international sales manager responsible for the Chinese region, Mark Wang, said in any given year for resorts and hospitality, the Chinese market is among the top five countries in the world, so their support is significant.

Wang is confident that business travel from China to South Africa will be strong in 2023, with the upcoming BRICS summit hosted in the country and many of his clients talking about blocking out entire hotels.

“Leisure travel, on the other hand, will need time to pick up, as South Africa has only just begun issuing tourist visas to Chinese holidaymakers and airfares continue to be double pre-Covid-19 prices,” said Wang.