Get ready for firecrackers, fireworks and drums and dragons as Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival kicks off today and runs until 25th of February. Here’s the guide to what’s going on from the markets to the shopping centres in Melbourne and how they are celebrating the year of the dog.
Queensbridge Square New Year’s Countdown
Time: 18:00 – 00:30
The New Year Countdown at Queensbridge Square will feature traditional Chinese dance and cultural activities, music and complimentary Chinese dumplings. The stage performances will include Kung Fu, Dragon Dance, youth performances, as well as Chinese musical instruments. There will also be a special broadcast of the marvellous official Chinese New Year National Television Program, a highlight for tourists, international students and locals alike. Free
Chinese New Year’s Day Celebration
Time: 18:00 – 22:00
The special program will include performances of many different styles, genres and forms and feature more than 20 organizations comprising of 300 performers. Performances will include a flash mob of 300 performers, martial arts, traditional Chinese instruments, dragon dance, lion dance, youth bands, children’s dance, magic performances and traditional singing.
White-Night at Chinese New Year
Time: 10:30am – 2:00am
The celebrations will continue into the early hours on White-Night as Melbourne lights up once again with colorful displays and projections throughout the city. The Queensbridge celebrations will feature food from some of Melbourne’s best Chinese restaurants and food trucks as guests enjoy several performances from Chinese youth groups. Be sure to head down early as this event is sure to attract a crowd.
Chinese Cultural Kaleidoscope
Dates: 12-18 of February & 24-25 February 2018
Time: 10:30 – 21:30
Over two wonderful weekends, Queensbridge Square will become a Chinese cultural hub, covering Chinese hand crafts, language, food stalls, cooking demonstrations, traditional dance and performances, Tai Chi, Chinese Square Dancing, Chinese waist drum and traditional tea ceremonies. Guests will then have the opportunity to have their photo taken with Caishen, the Chinese God of Wealth and Prosperity.
Closing Ceremony featuring Chinese Women’s Square Dance Competition and Lantern Parade
Time: 10:30 – 21:00
More than 200 Chinese Square dancers will compete in a 90-minute competition along the Queensbridge Square that will showcase the immensely popular street dance practiced around China. The day will conclude with a Lantern Parade featuring more than 300 people, in a spectacle that marks the closure of the festival.
Yarra River / Southgate
Time: 11:00 – 13:30
As locals and visitors unite to celebrate Chinese New Year, Southgate will welcome the ‘Year of the Dog’ and wish for a prosperous twelve months ahead with display light installations, traditional lion dances and other cultural performances.
The Chinese New Year program at the Docklands will celebrate across three of the area’s most iconic spots, the Melbourne Star, the Docklands Library and the Waterfront.
Time: 10:00 – 12:00
Library: The Docklands library will come to life with cultural performances, traditional Chinese arts and crafts, Chinese tea ceremony and Children’s storytelling.
Date: 17-18 of February & 24-25 of February 2018
Time: 10:30 – 3.00
Melbourne Star: Melbourne’s iconic Ferris wheel will become a Chinese cultural hub over the New Year period where traditional performances, dance workshops, Children’s activities and more will run throughout the 2018 Chinese New Year celebrations.
Time: 19.00 – 21.00
International Student Chinese New Year Party: Melbourne has one of the largest populations of Chinese students outside of China. The FCA will host a celebration for these students that will include cultural performances from various student groups, a cross-cultural riddle solving competition and last, but certainly not least, a Chinese dumpling buffet. Students will also have the opportunity to have their picture taken with Caishen, the Chinese God of Wealth and Prosperity.
Queen Victoria Market
Cultural Performance at the Queen Victoria Market
The queen Victoria Market will be showered in traditional Chinese dance and culture with live performances by Lion and dragon dance troupes.
The full list of programming can be found at www.cnymelbourne.com.au.