Where To Celebrate Chinese New Year in Melbourne: The Year of the Rat!

  • Family

Chinese New Year's Day is Saturday 25th January 2020 and will usher in the auspicious Year of the Rat. This is the most important cultural festival on the Chinese calendar and welcomes a brand new lunar year with ancient traditions, rituals and ceremonies faithfully observed to bring new luck and good fortune for the future. It's a spectacular experience of joy and colour and great for kids.

The Rat is, in fact, the first of all zodiac animals. It represents the birth of a new day and is seen as a sign of wealth and surplus.

In that spirit of abundance, there are loads of way to celebrate the Chinese New Year, with Lunar New Year festivals and family-friendly events throughout Melbourne lighting up the city streets with performances, food stalls and lion dances.

Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival

Chinese New Year 2020 Melbourne Festival

The Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival welcomes in the Year of the Rat with an official opening at Queensbridge Square. Dazzling performances, exquisite clothing from an array of ancient dynasties, traditional Chinese cuisine, fantastic light show performance and a slew of Chinese cultural activities available for all ages will set the tone for a prosperous year ahead.

The festival will continue with 16 days of colourful events at some of Melbourne's most treasured landmarks including The Immigration Museum, Queen Victoria Market, Queensbridge Square, and Docklands.

When: Friday 24th January to Sunday 9th February 2020
Where: Queensbridge Square, Southbank

Chinese New Year Festival, Box Hill 

In 2019, over 150,000 people came to celebrate the Chinese New Year Festival in Box Hill and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever! Delicious food, wonderful music and spectacular entertainment, including the ever-popular crowd-weaving Dragon Dancers and the incredible Parade of Choi Sun (Chinese God of Fortune) will bring the city to life with people, colour, movement and sound. Visit the giant Buddha statue to pray for good fortune throughout the coming year and visit unique market stalls reminiscent of the bustling streets of Beijing!

The festival showcases wonderful music, singing and dancing from the local community plus a vibrant atmosphere with games, rides and a fireworks display.

Whitehorse City Council and the Asian Business Association of Whitehorse delivers an exciting program of entertainment and stalls to one of the largest Chinese New Year celebrations in Melbourne.

When: Saturday 1st February 2020
Where: Whitehorse Road, Market Street and Main Street, Box Hil

Chinese New Year Festival, Chinatown

The hub for the local Chinese community​​​​, Chinatown will host a Chinese New Year Festival starting with Dai Loong, Melbourne’s Big Dragon, providing the cultural narrative as it weaves itself through the parade at 11.30am. The dragon will awaken in Chinatown this year in a fiery display throughout the streets of the CBD, starting from Little Bourke St. Don't miss the parade - this long and lucky beast is carried and animated by over 200 people!

The festivities will continue with lion dance and cultural performances, hawker stalls prayers to Buddha and Master Pang's street calligraphy. You can also get free entry to the Chinese Museum Open Day. 

When: Sunday 2nd February 2020, 10am – 9pm
Where: Along Little Bourke Street, all the way from Spring Street down to Swanston Street.

Victoria Street Lunar Festival

If you've ever wanted to see how much pho you can eat in one sitting, why not enter the pho eating competition at this year's Victoria Street Lunar Festival? The cash prize is $1000 and is part of the Chinese-Vietnamese New Year celebrations. 

Celebrating the Year of Rat with lion and dragon dancers parading through the street, the festival is a vibrant, colourful and culturally rich experience with over 100 food choices, carnival rides, firecrackers, games, activities, art creation stations and a magic show before the ultimate fireworks finale. 

When: Sunday 19th January 2020, 12 - 11pm
Where: Victoria St, Richmond

Glen Waverley Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival

Celebrate the Year of the Rat at Glen Waverley's Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival - a community feast of colour, music and food. Traditional Chinese lion and dragon dance performances are a highlight with the spectacular lion dance on poles delighting all ages. The performances will be at 12pm and 5pm.

This year will be a huge celebration of the traditional Chinese Lunar New Year and will include outdoor stalls, entertainment and cultural activities.

When: Sunday 9th February 2020, 11am - 9pm
Where: Kingsway, Glen Waverley

Preston and Central Market Lunar New Year

Preston and Central Market Lunar New Year

Celebrate Lunar New Year in Preston with events taking places at Preston Market and on High Street.  There's a jam-packed weekend of celebrations planned to welcome in the new year! Asian inspired food stalls, free activities, and live entertainment will continue Preston Market's long-standing tradition of celebrating Lunar New Year, connecting with the Asian community with an action-packed program of events including street food pop-ups, blessings, dances and Tai Chi demonstrations. 

Live Entertainment and free activities at Preston Market will include ink-blow painting, Chinese face mask decorating and calligraphy. Plus there will be Chinese bookmarks given out on the day,

When: Preston Central - Saturday 25th January 2020, 9:30am - 2pm
            Preston Market - Sunday 26th January 2020, 9:30am - 2pm
Where: Preston Central - High Street, Preston
             Preston Market, 30 The Centreway, Preston

Hawker's Bazaar at Crown Melbourne

Hawker's Bazaar at Crown Melbourne

Celebrating the year of the Rat, Hawker's Bazaar at Crown Melbourne will set the Riverwalk alight with sights and smells, bringing the bustling streets of Asia to life! The iconic Hawker's Bazaar will showcase Asian culinary delights, live entertainment and activities for the whole family, with more than 30 traditional market stalls, musical acts, lion dance performances, and a spectacular firework display to close celebrations on Saturday evening.

When: Friday 31st January - Sunday 2nd February 2020
Where: Crown Melbourne Riverwalk, Southbank

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