Chinese New Year Festival Returns to Illuminate City


Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival welcomes the Year of the Rooster

Unifying the city’s Year of the Rooster celebrations and presenting a cohesive cultural experience for locals and visitors alike, the Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival from 27 January until 12 February 2017 will offer spectacular lighting installations, cultural performances, food experiences and public activities designed to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to come together and celebrate.

Melbourne will come alive over 17 days with vibrant festivities which can be experienced citywide from Queensbridge Square, Queen Victoria Market, Emporium Melbourne, Federation Square, the Chinese Museum, Melbourne Zoo, Eureka Skydeck and Southgate, to Docklands and DFO South Wharf.

“The Melbourne Chinese New Year Festival is one of our city’s favourite events that unites families and friends to celebrate Chinese culture and traditions across the city,” said The Right Hon Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne.

Festival highlights include several exciting activations at Queensbridge Square commencing with a New Year’s Eve countdown on 27 January, illuminations and activities at Docklands each weekend of the Festival, performances by China’s Three Tenors and Shan Dong Lai Zhou China Martial Arts School presented by Plenary at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 3 February, and a Chinese New Year concert by the Chinese Music Orchestra on 9 February.

The Festival’s lighting installations include peacocks at Docklands, an impressive and colourful rooster at Queensbridge Square, blooming flowers at South Wharf and Chinese mystical animals at Queen Victoria Market.

Principal Partner, Study Melbourne, is delighted with the festivities that will focus on engaging with the 175,000-strong international student community.

From Tai Chi and dragon boat trials to cooking demonstrations and an Asian Fusion Dinner at Eureka 89, the Victorian Government is proud to celebrate the diversity of our state.

Jane Nathan, Chair of CNY United Pty Ltd, the incorporated body established to manage the Festival said: “We hope to build on the success of last year’s inaugural Festival. We have developed existing, and created new programming for 2017 and will again deliver all events under one cohesive brand.”

The Chinese New Year countdown at Queensbridge Square and the celebration of Chinese food at Queen Victoria Market are two of the Festival’s major highlights featuring leading Chinese cuisine authority and celebrity chef, Elizabeth Chong and TV personality and Melbourne-foodie, Lee Chan.

“The 2017 Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival will see our wonderful city come alive once again for two spectacular weeks,” said Beverley Pinder, CNY Festival Liaison.

The Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival will be officially launched at Eureka 89 on 23 January 2017.

The Festival acknowledges the support of its Principal Partners, Study Melbourne and the City of Melbourne as well as the support of the Federation of Chinese Associations, AYAM and China Southern Airlines in addition to other key partners.

Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival program highlights:

Queensbridge Square                                               27 January – 12 February: A variety of family-friendly activities including music, performances, a Chinese New Year countdown, a Chinese cultural village, dragon boat demonstrations, The Food Truck Park, free Chemist Warehouse Tai Chi lessons each weekday morning and a closing ceremony. Free.


Docklands                                                                     Celebrate with weekend evening events along Harbour Esplanade – Asian cuisine from The Food Truck Park, and drinks as the sun sets; a spectacular light show at 888 Collins Street (arguably Melbourne’s luckiest address) from sunset to midnight, playing every hour on the hour and, don’t miss the Chinese New Year-themed LED light show at the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel on every night.  Remember to catch the free tram to Harbour Esplanade. Free.

4 & 5 February: ‘Come & Try’ sessions with Dragon Boat Victoria.

Yarra River /Southgate                                            27 January – 12 February: Lighting installations along the banks and bridges of the Yarra River. Free.                                                             

4 & 5 February: Dragon boat demonstrations with Dragon Boat Victoria.

DFO South Wharf                                            27 January – 12 February: Illuminated retail hub offering fortune cookies with special offers on select days.  Free.

Federation Square                                          28 January: The pulse of the city and Victoria’s 2nd top tourist attraction will be bursting with all of the tradition this vibrant community brings headed by the Federation of Chinese Associations. Free.

Queen Victoria Market                                            28 January, 1 February, 11 & 12 February: Melbourne’s premier market showcases the best of Asian cuisine and food-related entertainment. Chinese music, food vendors and noodle making demonstrations. Free.

MCEC, Plenary                                                  3 February: China’s Three Tenors and Shan Dong Lai Zhou China Martial Arts School will perform as part of a Chinese New Year concert presented by Plenary at MCEC. This promises to be a spectacle of colour, music, dance and singing.

Chinese Museum / Chinatown                             4, 5, 11 & 12: February: First 88 children who visit the Chinese Museum over these days receive FREE entry.

23 – 29 January: Myriad activities in Chinatown continuing the tradition of Chinese New Year with the Millennium Dai Loong Dragon Parade on Sunday 29 January. Major Projects focus with activations by VRC and others.

Melbourne Recital Centre                                      9 February: Ausfeng presents a Chinese New Year Concert by the Chinese Music Orchestra of CNODDT, Treasures of a Nation. Tickets available:

The full list of programming can be found at

Printed programs are available from: Federation Square Visitors Centre, SkyBus, Yarra Trams as well as via Festival partners, hotels and universities.

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