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The best Chinese New Year events in Melbourne

Feeling ready for the Year of the Pig? Here are best things to do, plus where to eat and drink and enjoy Chinese New Year 2019 in Melbourne
Chinese New Year
By Time Out editors |
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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 Pig, join in the festivities all around the city. 

This year, Chinese New Year falls on Tuesday, February 5, 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

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Crown Casino, Southbank, Melbourne
Photograph: Josie Withers
Things to do

Crown Melbourne

icon-location-pin Southbank

Crown is the place to be this Lunar New Year with a loaded line-up of food, art and fire-breathing dragons. Crown Riverwalk will buzz with 30 food vendors and specialty stores hawking their wares. There will also be music, acrobats, magicians and the KARA-OK finale competition at Hawkers' Bazaar on Saturday, February 9. Once again Crown is transforming its flame towers into dragons for its Lunar New Year celebrations. Head down from now until February 12 to see it all unfold.

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Chinese New Year at the District Docklands
Photograph: Supplied
Shopping, Shopping centres

The District Docklands

icon-location-pin Docklands

The District is hosting a bunch of family-friendly festivities between Friday, February 8 and Sunday, February 10. Expect a fun fireworks display, traditional lion dancing, lantern making, calligraphy classes, drumming performances, stilt walkers, giveaways and more. 

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Museums

Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium

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Sea Life Melbourne is celebrating the Lunar New Year across February this year. There will be luminous lanterns hung up around the aquarium and even a wishing wall, where you can record your goals for the Year of the Pig. There's also the chance to win up to ¥888 per day.

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Chinese New Year generic dragon
Shopping, Markets

Chinese New Year at Preston Market

icon-location-pin Preston

When the new lunar year kicks off in February you better believe the Preston markets will be celebrating. On Saturday, February 9, there will be fun food from Moskew Momo, Taiwan Wheel Cake, Preston Sushi Bar and more, as well as tai chi demonstrations, face painting Mu Jiang Chinese games, calligraphy workshops and lion dancing.

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Melbourne Central
Shopping, Shopping centres

Melbourne Central

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Melbourne Central is celebrating Lunar New Year with giant flying pigs, a dumpling eating contest and free pig-themed treats this year. Think you can eat 20 dumplings the fastest? You could win a voucher to Lilong by Taste of Shanghai at Melbourne Central by winning Melbourne Central's dumpling eating competition on Tuesday, February 5 at 4pm. 

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Chinese New Year at Sovereign Hill
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

Sovereign Hill

icon-location-pin Ballarat

Sovereign Hill will be celebrating Chinese New Year on Sunday, February 10 and Sunday, February 17. Over the two Sundays, Sovereign Hill will be teaming up with the Chinese Australian Cultural Society Ballarat for a series of celebrations for the annual Chinese New Year parade. 

Restaurants doing Chinese New Year specials

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Spice Temple moreton bay bug dish
Restaurants

Spice Temple

icon-location-pin Southbank

Celebrate the Year of the Pig at Neil Perry's Spice Temple, which will be serving up a nine-course banquet menu from Friday, February 1 to Sunday, February 10. 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 pomelo for prosperity, Mapo-style, red-braised duck for fortune, and a red date cheesecake with mandarin for rejuvenation. The feast is $99 per person, with matching wines available for $55. 

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A shot of the twice cooked duck on a metal tray at Supernormal
Restaurants, Asian

Supernormal

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Supernormal's Chinese New Year celebrations will come in the form of a few fun new menu additions. Available from Monday, February 4 to Sunday, February 10, guests can get amongst white cut chicken with fermented black cabbage, watercress and ginger sauce; whole stir-fried mud crab with pickled chilli and Sichuan dry spices; and Xiamen-style spring rolls with scarlet prawns and Chinese sausage. 

Time Out says
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Restaurants

Hawker Hall

icon-location-pin Windsor

Hawker Hall's Chinese New Year banquet will take place on Tuesday, February 5. Guests will be served a five-course banquet which will include seafood-stuffed doughnuts, chicken and garlic chive pearly dumplings and soy-braised pork belly, just to make a few. Book your spot here.

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The Oriental Teahouse: South Yarra
Restaurants

The Oriental Teahouse: South Yarra

icon-location-pin South Yarra

Oriental Teahouse will be taking in special bookings on Friday, February 8 wherein guests can enjoy live lion dances, red coin packets, street firecrackers and more. There will be two sittings (at 6pm and 8pm) at Oriental Teahouse South Yarra and a special performance by a Chinese dragon at 12.15pm at Oriental Teahouse Little Collins Street.  

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Things to do, Expos and conventions

Sheraton Melbourne Hotel

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Ring in Lunar New Year at the Sheraton Melbourne Hotel with a seafood buffet. Think fresh seafood, salads, hot dishes and a dessert buffet. The buffet will be available from February 4 to 10 on Monday to Saturday from 6pm until late, and on Sunday noon to 2pm. It costs $88 per head, with children at half price. 

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HWKR Bread and Beast
Photograph: Supplied
Restaurants, Asian

HWKR

icon-location-pin Melbourne

To celebrate Lunar New Year and the food hall's first birthday, HWKR is putting on a four-day feast-ival. Running from Thursday, February 7 until Sunday, February 10, guests can enjoy a special CNY banquet prepared by HWKR's current pop-up chefs. It costs $50 per person and you can dig into dishes like thit kho (pork belly casserole), Peking pork-et tacos, chilli prawns and even taro monster binsu.

Melbourne's best Chinese restaurants

Restaurants, Chinese

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.

Melbourne's best yum cha

An array of yum cha options on a table
Photograph: Spice Temple
Restaurants, Chinese

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.

More to explore

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