"The Sydney Opera House is one of the world's most recognised buildings and we are proud to host the biggest Lunar New Year celebration outside of China," Mr Baird said.
"It's a spectacular sight to see the Sydney Opera House bathed in 'China red' as we farewell the Year of the Horse and welcome the start of the Year of the Goat.
"The beginning of the Lunar New Year has become an anticipated celebration in our multicultural State when we join communities celebrating the New Year – including those from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore.
"As we farewell the Year of the Horse we reflect on the successes of the past 12 months and the strengthening of economic and cultural ties between China and NSW.
"We have strong cultural links to China. About one in 10 people living in Sydney have Chinese ancestry and Mandarin is the second-most spoken language here after English.
"I travelled to China for my first official overseas visit as Premier, and the nation remains New South Wales' biggest trading partner and source of international tourists and visitors.
"China remains a priority market for the NSW Government and last year we took another step forward, releasing our China strategy to ensure our efforts are focussed on increasing two-way trade and tourism. "To mark this auspicious occasion the Sydney Opera House sails will light up red again this evening (Thursday 19 February) as we celebrate the first day of the Year of the Goat," Mr Baird said.
Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM said: "As the symbol of modern Australia and the nation's number one tourist destination, we are thrilled to be able to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Goat on the Opera House sails."
"There is a palpable sense of excitement about Lunar New Year, more than 18,000 Chinese and Korean speaking guests have booked themed tours of the building and there are a number of other New Year activities on our site."
Pictured: The Sydney Opera House lit in red © James Horan