Lifestyle, What's On

Celebrate the Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is just around the corner and if you want to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Monkey we recommend these following celebrations during the Melbourne’s Chinese New Year Festival.

Chinese New Year Festival Opening Ceremony – Federation Square

Welcome the Year of the Monkey with a spectacular Chinese New Year celebration held across two days at Fed Square! This Saturday marks the official opening ceremony and celebrations will start at 10am, including Chinese lion dance, drumming, beautiful light displays, children’s performances, live music and a variety of stallholders serving up your favourite Chinese dishes.

Chinatown – Saturday 6th Feb – Sunday 14 Feb

The 2-week program of events will be unveiled and celebrations will commence on the weekend, right here, right in the heart of Melbourne Chinatown, an integral part of the City of Melbourne since the goldrush days of the 1850s. During the day, roving musicians, artists and performers will take to the streets of Chinatown. Traditional figures in Chinese mythology, Chinese traditional musicians and artists will enthral passers-by. Other activities include an outdoor cinema in Chinatown Square with Asian short films screening from dusk to CHINATOWN COUNTDOWN; celebrations in the night; and cultural workshops. Finally, keep the 8th of February free as MasterChef Contestants bring their culinary skills to Chinatown Square to tackle a challenge celebrating Chinese New Year.

Yarra River – Saturday 6 Feb – 21 Feb

Come and see Australia’s largest illuminated Dragon Head at Eureka Skydeck Plaza Area. At Southgate Melbourne there will be Chinese Zodiac lanterns and along its pedestrian bridge there will be cute illuminated Pandas on show. At Queensbridge Square, the Monkey Arch Corridor installation will be positioned as an extension to Sandridge Pedestrian Bridge and an installation of lanterns depicting Chinese Opera with a matching soundscape will be located on the Queensbridge Square stage.

Food Truck Park at Southbank – 5 Feb – 21 Feb

The Food Truck Park joins Chinese New Year at Southbank. Celebrating The Year of the Monkey, Melbourne’s favourite food trucks bring the festivities to the city this February. Rafts of Asian influenced cuisines, lighting installations and cultural performers are arriving to delight crowds at Queensbridge Square during the 17 day activation. Acts from Melbourne’s Chinese community include the dazzling lion and dragon dancers and the Monkey Arch Corridor providing entertainment to attendees along the Yarra throughout the festival. Enjoy the flavours of China and beyond from Melbourne’s favourite food trucks including The Hungry Panda, White Guy Cooks Thai, Nem n Nem, Flying Wok, Mamma Van, Van Go, Korean Fried Chicken, Caliko BBQ and many more.

Chinese Museum – 16 Feb – 1 Mar

This treasury of heritage and culture of Australia’s Chinese community located in Melbourne’s Chinatown will be hosting a 14-day celebration of Lunar New Year. Highlights include a Penjing Tea Garden where you can enjoy the traditional art of Chinese tea in a Chinese Bonsai or ‘Penjing’ setting along with classic Chinese music; A Penjing workshop; Free Open Day ( 22 Feb, 12pm to 5pm)  visit the museum for free and learn about the heritage and culture of Australia’s Chinese community and see the world’s largest processional dragon.

Lunar Markets at the Docklands – 4 Feb – 14 Feb

The very first Melbourne Lunar Market is an 11-day pop-up food and drink market celebrating the Chinese New Year. Dine your way through over 20 different stall holder dishes ranging from Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Asian fusion, Thai and more. There’ll also be a range of outdoor bars and entertainment over 11 nights.

MSO Chinese New Year Concert – 14 Feb

Melbourne’s Chinese New Year Concert has become a much-loved part of the MSO season. Join the Orchestra for a concert of works inspired by Eastern and Western music, conducted by composer Tan Dun. The program includes Tan Dun’s evocative work, The Map, inspired by the ancient village music of Southwest China.

Looking for accommodation in the heart of the city and only seconds away from the Chinatown festivities? Stay at our 4.5 star hotel, The Swanston Hotel Grand Mercure or our 3.5 star hotel, Mercure Welcome Melbourne. 

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