Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year is a time of great celebration and excitement for the city of Melbourne. Featuring one of the most prominent Chinese communities in the world outside of China, the city is bathed in red and fireworks in a cultural display that is not to be missed.
With so much going on, here a rare few highlights that can’t be missed.
Chinese culture on show
Performed by community groups, prepare for an entertaining spectacle on the banks of the Yarra River. Beginning at 11am on Saturday 2 February, the lion dance and light installations act as a precursor for the official opening of the festival at Queensbridge Square at 8pm.
There will also be cooking demonstrations over the opening weekend of the festival by 2017 MasterChef winner Diana Chen.
Chinatown's Chinese New Year Festival
Chinatown's Chinese New Year is a testament to the success of migration, cultural diversity and Melbourne’s historic and modern Asian community.
Having the Dai Loong Big Dragon as the main attraction, the parade occurs on the first Sunday following the first day of the first lunar month.
At this parade there will be a series of activities that will appeal to all. These include:
- lion dance performances
- hawker stalls
- cultural performances
- and Chinese Museum Open Day with free entry.
Being the Year of the Pig, pork will be the flavour of the month. There will be a celebration of everything pork related, from tasting to eating competitions.
Running from 10am to well into the night, this is an all ages parade and an ideal way to entertain the family. It’s also free, so take advantage of this cultural spectacle.
A unique musical celebration
Tan Dun brings his visionary composer and conductor skills back to Melbourne to bring in the Year of the Pig.
In what has become an annual highlight of Melbourne’s Chinese New Year celebrations since 2014, Tan Dun has created a marvellous and magical program focussing on his interest in the spirits of the natural world while also encompassing the sounds and traditions of the ancient cultures that lined the Silk Road.
Along with Tan Dun and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is Hanggai, a group of traditional-meets-rock musicians from the grassy plains of Inner Mongolia via Beijing. Combining traditional instruments with a dose of rock that will excite and entertain, their performance with the MSO will be one to remember.
For a unique Chinese New Year experience, book your tickets now.
Dragon boat racing
The Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Festival in Melbourne should not be missed.
Taking place on the final days of Chinese New Year, each day begins with an eye dotting ceremony to awaken the dragons that is truly something to be seen. The boats and water are also blessed to ensure safe racing for all.
The festival mixes tradition and tense action as the dragon boats race along Victoria Harbour to the beating drums that line the water.
The festival also showcases more cultural performances and a lion dance.
With a rich and vibrant Chinese culture, comes a celebration of great magnitude. Prepare for the city of Melbourne to light up with fireworks and be shrouded in red as Chinese New Year is celebrated wholeheartedly by all.
中国农历新年快乐 from the team at Melbourne Jet Base!