What's On

Where To Celebrate Chinese New Year 2018 In Melbourne

By Marina Nazario
13th Feb 2018


Did you know that every dish you eat during Chinese New Year has a symbolic meaning? Soooo the more dumplings we eat, the more money we make? Well, bloody hell! Lay it on us!

From February 15-25, you might mistake Melbs for Shanghai, because it’s Chinese freaking NEW YEAR. That means dumplings, dragons, dancing andddd dumplings. You’ll find parts of the city turn into a colourful mess of entertainment and celebrations. And we'll take any excuse to party. 

Here’s where to celebrate Chinese New Year in Melbourne in 2018. Oh, and ICYMI, it’s the year of the dog. Woof!

All Week

Chinese New Year Festival

Get your party pants on. For 10 long-awaited days, there'll be a non-stop Chinese New Year festival running across the city. Be prepared for fireworks, dragons and heapppppsss of food throughout the CBD. We love this time of year. 

Where: Various locations
When: 15 February - 25 February
For more info, 
click here.

Crown Riverwalk Dragons 

If you notice something a little different about the flame towers at Crown Riverwalk, this is why. Crown has recruited a bunch of Melbourne's hottest street artists to turn each tower into a giant fire-breathing dragon! They'll be flaming every half hour from 8pm to midnight until 27 February. Get your 'gram finger ready.

Where: Crown Riverwalk
When: Till 27 February
For more info, click here

Museums Victoria

If you’ve never celebrated Chinese New Year before, well neither has Museums Victoria and they’re going BIG for it. Think longest imperial dragon big. The Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Museum and Immigration Museum will be featuring projection art, a canine fashion show (did someone say dogs?!), Feng Shui workshop (give us all the Zen) AND fortune telling. What don’t they have?!

Where: Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Museum and Immigration Museum
When: Various dates and times
For more info, 
click here.

Lucky Cat Room

What better way to celebrate the year of the dog with a room full of...cats (???) Melbourne Central is giving us a lucky cat room which is basically a 4x4m space filled with 888 gold waving Maneki Neko cats (worst nightmare or dream come true?). Definitely worth the Insta. Plus, if you tag the photo with #luckycatroom, you’ll have a chance to win a $500 MC gift card. Let’s do this.

Where: Level 2 Melbourne Central
When: Friday 16 February to Sunday 25 February
For more info, 
click here.

Hawker Hall

PSA! Every weekend of February, Hawker Hall is offering CNY Yum Cha from 11am to 4pm for $38 a head. They’re giving you the power to choose 7 items from the 15 item menu, leaving you to stuff your face with all the greasy goodness. The Hawker Hall team also invented a “happiness” cocktail (aren’t all cocktails happy?) and a “longevity” cocktail justttt for Chinese New Year. Get it while you can.

Where: Hawker Hall
When: Every weekend of February
For more info, 
click here.

Hu Tong

Heads up guys, the legends ta Hu Tong in Prahran are chucking a massive Chinese New Year's Eve banquet on the 15th. Bookings will be essential for this one. And just when you thought it couldn't get any more OTT< there's gonna be a traditional lion dance performance right in the restaurant. Roar!

Where: Hu Tong
When: Thursday 15 February
For more info, click here. 

Friday & Saturday

Chinese New Year’s Day Flash Mob

Ever since watching Friends With Benefits, it’s kind of, sort of, most definitely been our dream to witness a flash mob. WELL LUCKY US. A Chinese New Year’s Day flash mob is gracing our presence at Queensbridge Square, featuring over 300 performers. Apparently, they’ll be doing this elaborate, 30-minute performance that you won’t want to miss. This is all part of a full night of Chinese New Year’s Day celebrations at Southbank.

Where: Queensbridge Square, Southbank
When: 6:00pm, Friday 16 February
For more info, 
click here.

White Night At Chinese New Year

Celebrate both White Night AND Chinese New Year on Saturday. There will be TONS of food from some of Melbourne’s best Chinese restaurants, PLUS food trucks. You might even come across a few performances from Chinese youth groups (cuties). Make sure to head down early because this is an event that’s going to be majorly crowded.

Where: Queensbridge Square, Southbank
When: 10:30am - 11pm, Saturday 17 February
For more info, 
click here.

Ping Pong Diplomacy

Think you’re good at ping-pong? Show us what you got! Local street artist, Phibs, has painted Year of the Dog ping-pong tables and they’re up for grabs if you register to play. Aw yeahhh, bring it on.

Where: Level 1, Melbourne Central
When: Friday 16 February to Saturday 17 February
For more info, 
click here.

Pagoda Installation

Leave it to Emporium Melbourne to put on something fancy for CNY. They’ll be opening a pop-up Pagoda Installation, which honours the Chinese tradition of gifting and receiving red envelopes (no, not like the invitations to Hogwarts). Rock up to this event and look into a magic ball to see your Chinese zodiac predictions for love and luck in the new year (okay, we’re just assuming there’s a crystal ball). They’ll also be handing out heaps of prizes such as Din Tai Fung dumplings, a class at Kaya Health Clubs and ice-cream from Godiva. It’s on.

Where: Level 1 of Emporium Melbourne
When: Friday 16 February and Saturday 17 February
For more info, 
click here.

Chinese New Festival at Box Hill Central

Alright, time to turn it up a notch. Box Hill Central is hosting a huggeeee weekend celebration complete with dragon dancing, firecrackers and over 100 market stalls. There will be tons of opportunities for Instas, Snaps and getting amongst all the festivities. 

Where: Box Hill Central
When: Friday 16 February and Saturday 17 February
For more info, click here.

Hawker Chan

Michelin star-rated (and v cheap) Singaporean dining experience, Hawker Chan (say that five times fast) is bringing in the Year of the Dog with a traditional Chinese New Year Lion Dance. Rawr. Watch the lion dance shimmy from one Michelin rated dining destination to another, journeying from Tim Ho Wan to Hawker Chan, then treat yo’self to some delicious Singaporean foodz. Nom. See you there.

Where: Hawker Chan
When: From 3:30pm, Saturday 17 of February
For more info, click here.

Monday 19 February

Annam's 'Tet' (Vietnamese New Year) Celebrations

In Vietnam, the Lunar New Year is called 'Tet' (#themoreyouknow), and the team at Annam are gearing up for a BIG celebration with lion dancers (lots of these around town) and a set menu full of traditional tet dishes. Pho reallzzz? Yup. Tickets are $88 for 8 “prosperity” themed courses. Not bad, not bad.

Where: 56 Little Bourke Street
When: 6pm, Monday 19 February
For more info, click here.

Tuesday 20 February

Celebrations at New Shanghai

So about those lucky dumplings... New Shanghai has created a seasonal dumpling that will have you stuffing your face to a Bill Gates level of wealth. Their CNY themed “make me rich” dumpling is a prawn dumpling with egg yolk, snow pea, carrots and mushrooms. Mmmm. Alright peeps, let’s get lucky. P.S. They’ll be hosting a Lion Dance at 12:30 on 20 February.

Where: New Shanghai, Chadston
When: Until 2 March
For more info, 
click here.

Closing Ceremony

Welp, the celebrations can’t last forever. Don’t miss the closing ceremony which will include a 90-minute Chinese women’s square dance competition (intriguing) and a lantern parade with more than 300 people to wrap up a longggg 10 days of partying. 

Where: Queensbridge Square, Southbank
When: 10:20am - 9:00pm, Sunday 25 January
For more info, click here.

For The Diary 

Dandenong Market Lunar New Year 

The good times keep coming next week at The Dandenong Market. They're welcoming in the Lunar New Year with a massive festival on Sunday 25 February. There's gonna be dragon and lion dancing, a Taekwondo demonstration (why not?), dumplings by the truckload and a pop-up food market, with flavours from Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, China, Nepal, Korea and Vietnam. Keep an eye out for the 20m flying dragon...

Where: Dandenong Market
When: Sunday 25 February
For more info, click here

Batman Market Chinese New Year 

Batman Market is taking the whole 'year of the dog' thing literally—they're inviting your pooch along to celebrate the lunar new year! Head on down to Batman Market in Coburg on 24 February for pop-up food stalls, live tunes and family-friendly entertainment. Not to mention dogs galore.

Where: Batman Market, 14 Gaffney St, Coburg
4pm9pm, 24 February
For more info, click here

ICYMI: Melbourne's favourite pop-up outdoor cinema is back

Image credit: Chris Phutully

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