I am an academic and writer living in Melbourne. I love to travel and I also love writing about all the things Melbourne, regional Victoria and other parts of Australia have to offer.
Published January 17th 2020
In the Year of The Rat
Melbourne with its large multi-cultural population has many festivals reflecting this vibrant mixing pot of cultures. One of the biggest celebrations throughout the year takes place around the Lunar New Year Festival. Typical festivities include food stalls with many Asian specialities, entertainment and cultural demonstrations and of course, the Chinese dragon dance. The celebrations take place in Melbourne CBD but also out in the suburbs. Here are 5 of the top Lunar New Year celebrations each with its own character and activities. So go along and enjoy the fun and excitement in the Year of the Rat!
Victoria Street Lunar Festival
Starting the first of the Lunar Year celebrations the Victoria Street Lunar Festival takes place tomorrow on 19 January 2020 12pm-11pm. This festival will celebrate twenty years this year of bringing the multicultural performance and Asian food to the Melbourne community. The festival is organised by the Victoria Street Business Association Inc. VSBA and focuses on reflecting the many traditions forged in Victoria Street over the last twenty years.
There will be over 60 performance and entertainment activities plus the very popular Pho Eating Competition. You will have the choice of tasting more than 100 food delicacies with street traders and restaurants all taking part in the festival. Of course, there will also be games and rides for the kids. You can check out the program for the day here.
Springvale is one of the most vibrant Vietnamese communities in Melbourne and people come from near and far to shop for and taste authentic Vietnamese food. As part of the Lunar New Year celebrations, a two-day festival on the 1st and 2nd February will take place at Sandown Racecourse.
There will be something for everyone at the Tet Festival - Dragon dancing, cultural exhibits, renowned Vietnamese singers from the USA, entertainment and music on the Main Stage, competitions and fun activities on the Challenger Stage and festival rides. So much to enjoy and learn about the Vietnamese culture, so come along and bring your family and friends.
Chinatown with its many authentic restaurants and vibrant atmosphere will have the Dai Loong Big Dragon as its centrepiece in celebrating the Lunar New Year as it celebrates cultural diversity, Melbourne's historic and contemporary Asian community and migration. The celebrations start on January 22nd and run through to 5th February 2020. The main celebrations take place on Sunday, February 2nd.
Some of the events to see on February 2nd will include Melbourne Dai Loong Big Dragon Parade (11.30am to 1pm) Lion Dance performances
Hawker stalls Cultural performances Prayers to Buddha
Chinese Museum Open Day (free entrance)
- Master Pang's street calligraphy
As every year Crown puts on a great show to celebrate at this special time of year. Hawkers'bazaar, Zodiac Spectacular, Lion Team Performances and all the special Lunar New Year Dining will take place starting January 24th. For all the special events and offers please check here.
Glen Waverley Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival 2020
If you live out Glen Waverley way and nearby, you may want to see what is happening here on the 9th February from 11 am to 9pm.
The traditional and spectacular lion and dragon dance performances will be at 12pm and throughout the day there will be food, merchandise, music, entertainment and children's activities befitting this very special day for the Chinese community. The traditions and rituals of this festival are said to bring good fortune and good luck for the upcoming year. So really you shouldn' t miss out!
The highlights will be the traditional Chinese lion and dragon dance performances at 12pm and 5pm . these are always a lot of fun for visitors of all ages.