Chinese New Year in Australia
Known as an important event around the world with colourful decorations, parades, folk traditions, and a magical feast, Chinese New Year, also called as the Lunar New Year or Chinese Spring Festival, is a movable holiday. Kicking off usually in mid-February, a large population of Chinese in Australia welcome the festivities each year with sumptuous reunion dinners, ringing of bells, watching traditional lion dances and fireworks. The annual celebrations last for 15 days, marking it as the longest holiday in the Chinese calendar.
Want to participate in the celebrations? Check out our cool list for fun and several things you can do to join the vibrant festivities.
Where to celebrate the Lunar Year in OZ
Chinese New Year in Sydney is one of the largest festivals outside of Asia. More than 1 million people celebrate this event each year, with over 80 fun events stretching from Sydney's Chinatown to Opera House. Thousands of spectators flock to watch a ton of great performances from Sydney's Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai and Korean communities. Highlights not to miss include the larger-than-life lunar zodiac lanterns, with lion dances, live music and other activities. Local communities like Parramatta, Chatswood Mall, Forest Road, Hurstville and The Fairfield Showground also host their own celebrations.
Experience the magic of the Chinese New year as Adelaide's Chinatown play host with a street party on Gouger Street. Joining forces to provide the biggest roving lion dance ever in South Australia are 20 lions from local dance troupes. Also worth witnessing is a wonderful martial arts line-up featuring exhibitions from the Jeet Kune Do Academy and The Chinese Wushu & Taichi Academy.
Melbourne is another hotspot for Chinese New Year festivals offering two amazing weeks of citywide lighting installations, great performances and entertainment, firecrackers and public activities. Everyone is welcome to join the fun in Melbourne's Chinatown, with the Dai Loong Millennium Dragon parade keeping the tradition alive that goes back to the 1830s. Other regional cities such as Bendigo, Geelong and Ballarat also play host to a number of number of Chinese New Year Festivals.
Enjoy the Perth Chinese New Year for free with a multicultural concert, exciting games and fun rides. Northbridge is hosting traditional Chinese music and dance, plus parade, martial arts, stalls, firecrackers and children's activities. Head down in Chinatown on Roe Street for some amazing cultural performances and then eat some authentic Chinese food at Lucky Chan's or at Baby Mammoth. The Gloucester Park in Perth, for just one night of Lunar New Year celebrations, also transforms into a big China-town with lion dance, Asian fair and firework displays.
Planning to be in the nation's capital for Chinese (or Lunar) New Year? Canberra is offering up some spectacular events. Each year, the National Multicultural Festival offers residents and visitors with three jam-packed days of fun, cultural performances, food and festivities created and designed for all visitors to enjoy. Further, the Canberra Beijing Gardens Lantern festival features a lantern-making workshop and hold a nighttime parade. For something to eat, worth checking out is the XO Restaurant in Narrabundah as they host their own celebration, with traditional dishes, or you can head to Lanterne Rooms in Campbell and try their themed set menus.
Supported by Cairns Regional Council, the city of Cairns is transformed into little China for three weeks. Aside from thousands of local attendees, the Lunar Year celebrations in Cairns gather around 10,000 Chinese nationals each year. Major Chinese New Year attractions are usually held on Grafton Street. These include cultural performances, food and market stalls. Of course, not to be missed is the Street Festival and the parade which features the traditional Chinese dragon, lions and the 12 zodiac animals. For good luck and fortune, make sure to feed the dancing lion.