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Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival

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by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
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Family friendly ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year Festival Melbourne


Wanting to know where to take the family to enjoy the Chinese New Year festivities? The following program features an array of colourful events and activities across Melbourne, including:

Chinese New Year at Queensbridge Square

It all begins at Queensbridge Square on January 24th with a celebration of the Year of the Rat with dazzling performances, exquisite clothing from an array of ancient dynasties, 13 traditional food stalls (with lots of food to try) and a dazzling light show. There will also be a host of activities for the entire family including traditional shadow puppet workshops.

This is the official opening of the 2020 Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival.

Families can enjoy the sun sets over the beautiful Yarra River before Queensbridge Square will erupt with colour as a special lighting display enchants the square.

The official opening ceremony will take place between 20:00 and 21:00 and include an array of colourful cultural performances. As the clock strikes midnight and the year of the Rat officially begins, the Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival team will be handing out 1000 free dumplings to celebrate!

The Official Opening of the 2020 Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival
Date: Friday 24.01.20
Time: 17:00 – 00:30

Location: Queensbridge Square - 3 Queensbridge St, Southbank VIC 3006

Queensbridge Lunar New Year's Day
Date: Saturday 25.01.20
Time: 10:00 – 22:00

Chinese New Year Festival Melbourne
Chinese New Year Festival Melbourne



New Year's Day celebrations will take over Queensbridge Square with children's activities and workshops to keep the whole family entertained or hours. Learn how to play traditional Chinese instruments, Chinese checkers, and have your photo taken with Caishen, the god of wealth and fortune. The square will once again be bursting with fragrant foods from food stalls. A fantastic day for all ages!

Evening program: 18:00 – 22:00

Queensbridge CNY Family Day
Date: Sunday 26.01.20
Time: 10:00 – 23:00

Location: Queensbridge Square - 3 Queensbridge St, Southbank VIC 3006



Chinese New Year at Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market Family Day
Date: Saturday 25.01.20
Time: 11:00 – 13:00

Location: Queen Victoria Market

Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market will come to life with festive food, music and performances in celebration of this Lunar New Year. Alongside delicious food stalls, visitors will enjoy art and craft workshops, cultural performances including Lion Dance.

Chinese New Year at Melbourne Museum


Melbourne Museum Family Day

Date: Saturday 08.02.20 and Sunday 09.02.20

Time: 11:00 – 14:30

Location: Melbourne Museum – 11 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053


Head to the iconic Melbourne Museum for a day of family fun and entertainment. Children and their parents can enjoy face painting, cultural music and performances and a traditional Chinese Zodiac display. A colourful day not to be missed to enjoy in the final days of the summer school holidays.




Chinese New Year at Docklands

District Docklands Celebration
Date: Saturday 08.02.20 and Sunday 09.02.20
Time: 11:00 – 19:30

Location: District Docklands

Celebrate the new year in style at District Docklands. Children's activities, food stalls and vibrant cultural performances will envelop the district. Social Dragon Boat Regatta – Community Day

Date: Saturday 08.02.20
Time: 08:00 – 17:00

Location: Harbour Town Docklands

Dragon Boat racing has been practised for more than 2000 years, making it one of China's oldest and most revered traditions. In the Chinese culture, the dragon is a symbol for good luck and is said to live within the sea and in the clouds, controlling the rainfall.

Over the years the racing has come to symbolise a ritual to bring luck and prosperity to a city. Dragon Boat Melbourne is working with the festival in making the Community Dragon Boat Regatta an opportunity for everyone to get involved in the tradition of fun, with any organisation, company, association, or group of friends able to form a team to be part of this event.

The training will be provided. Running throughout the day and in conjunction with other cultural performances, the afternoon will finish off with a presentation to crown the Community Teams winners. In addition to the dragon boat racing and drills, paddlers and spectators will enjoy food stalls, cultural performances throughout the day.

Club Dragon Boat Regatta – Club Day
Date: Sunday 09.02.20
Time: 08:00 – 17:00

Location: Harbour Town Dockland

Just like the Saturday edition, the Sunday Dragon Boat Regatta is reserved for official dragon boat clubs. Dragon boat clubs from across Victoria will descend on docklands to compete in various sprints and drills. This is the largest event of its kind in Victoria and one of the largest in the country. In addition to the dragon boat racing and drills, paddlers and spectators will enjoy food stalls, cultural performances throughout the day.

Chinese New Year in the Heart of Melbourne

International Student Night at Multicultural Hub
Date: Sunday 09.02.20
Time: 18:30 – 23:00

Location: Multicultural Hub – 506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC 3000.

International Students Night, celebrating Melbourne's diverse student population with music, food and laughter. Hear from inspirational students, watch colourful performances and enjoy a visit from Caishen, the god of wealth and prosperity! The International Students' Night is a chance to connect with fellow students while celebrating the new year.




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Why? Bring in the Chinese New Year
When: 24 January to 9 Feb
Where: Various city locations
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Chinese New Year is a great excuse for the most flamboyant of celebrations although by Western standards rats seem nothing to celebrate. I looked up the year of the rat and found it is the first of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac calendar and it apparently very prestigious. People born in this year are thought ot be clever, outgoing and sensitive people. Myself, I'm a rooster.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7956) 79 days ago
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