The best Chinese New Year events in Melbourne

Bring on the red packets and celebrate Lunar New Year in the city

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.

It's also a perfect excuse to eat your way through our list of Melbourne's best dumplings and explore the diverse range of Chinese cuisine at the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne

Chinese New Year events


Chinese New Year at Preston Market

When the new lunar year kicks off in February you better believe the Preston markets will be celebrating. Over two days there will be lots of Chinese food as well as the FuWa Dancing Girls, tai chi demonstrations, lantern crafting workshops and more. 


Lantern Festival at Queen Victoria Market

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


Spice Temple

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. 


Hawker Chan

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.


Lee Ho Fook

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. 


Melbourne's best Chinese restaurants

The best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne

Remember the bad old days when Chinese food meant lemon chicken doused in an iridescent yellow sauce? We’ve come a long way since then. Here is a list of places to go to (both casual and fancy) if you don’t fancy wokking something up at home.

By: Time Out editors

Melbourne's best yum cha

The best yum cha in Melbourne

Nothing says long weekend lunches quite like a yum cha session. Pick through steaming baskets of xiao long bao, rice noodles and more at Melbourne's best yum cha joints.