Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year is for many a time to get together with friends and family to wish for good luck and a prosperous year ahead. As Melbourne's Asian communities celebrate the Year of the Dog, join in the festivities all around the city. They're hard to miss, just follow the sound of cracker and fireworks!
This year, Chinese New Year falls on Friday February 16 but there will be plenty to see and do in the lead up to the big day and in the days after. From Box Hill to Chinatown there will be lots of opportunities to get involved.
Chinese New Year events
Colourful traditional dances, spectacular light shows, Chinese food stalls and family friendly celebrations will light up the city for Chinese New Year. The Year of the Dog festivities will take place from February 15 until February 25, with February 16 as Chinese New Year's Day. Everyday during the festival there will be performances, street food, acrobatics and dragon dance workshops from the Queen Victoria Market to Docklands. Expect lots of qipaos and martials arts.
Queen Victoria Market is getting into the Lunar New Year spirit on Saturday March 3 and Sunday March 4 from 9am-3pm (4pm on Sunday). Check out Asian cheap eats stalls on Queen Street, roving performers and plenty of free family activities as lanterns light the way for a prosperous new year.
Restaurants doing Chinese New Year specials
Lunar New Year has come around again and with it Melbourne’s appetite for yum cha. Over in Windsor, the Singaporean-Malaysian street food specialist Hawker Hall is offering yum cha every weekend throughout February. Between 11am-4pm come in for a seven dish yum cha at $38 a head. Take just your bestie or the whole squad – this yum cha caters for groups of two to 14 with dishes like chicken and mushroom pearly dumplings, Sichuan noodle salad and prawn and spring onion roti. There’s a total of 15 items to choose from, and the truly hungry can upgrade to nine dishes for an extra $8 per person. Every celebration needs a little booze and Hawker Hall are doing something a bit special. They’ve created a cocktail menu that centres around the Chinese concept of five-fold happiness. Put a smile on your dial with the Happiness cocktail (cumquat puree and Umeshu) or try to extend your years with the kiwi and Soju longevity cocktail. Better still they’re only $10 each. You’ve got until February 25 to tick Hawker Hall off your yum cha list.
Celebrate the Year of the Dog at Neil Perry's Spice Temple, which will be serving up a banquet menu from February 16 to March 4. The kitchen team have carefully chosen ingredients to reflect Chinese traditions, ensuring the year ahead will be a prosperous one. Of the nine courses, there's a raw kingfish with white radish for prosperity, twice cooked duck with eight flavours for fortune, and a mandarin gel with jasmine milk tea sorbet for rejuvenation. The feast is $99 per person with matching wines available for $55.
The Michelin-starred street food restaurant is getting in the spirit for Chinese New Year. On February 17 they'll welcome the Year of the Dog to Melbourne with a traditional lion dance from Tim Ho Wan to Hawker Chan. Afterwards grabs some of Hawker Chan's superbly simple soya chicken. The lion dance starts around 3pm at Tim Ho Wan.
For the Year of the Dog modern chinese hotspot Lee Ho Fook is offering a special Chinese New Year banquet between February 8-28. Bring health, wealth and prosperity with a menu featuring dishes like crispy eggplant, blue swimmer crab egg noodles with scallops, pippies and XO sauce and slwo roasted Peking duck.