What's On: Lunar New Year (Melbourne)

The Hawker's Bazaar at Crown Riverwalk (Southbank) offers up plenty of Chinese street food and free entertainment, from ...
The Hawker's Bazaar at Crown Riverwalk (Southbank) offers up plenty of Chinese street food and free entertainment, from February 8-10. Photo: Supplied

Join in the celebrations as members of the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese communities mark the beginning of a new lunar year on Sunday, February 10. Festivals incorporating the Chinese Lion Dance, street food stalls, firecrackers and folk music are taking place across Melbourne. Restaurants are also getting in on the action with special New Year themed banquets honouring the Year of the Snake.


Friday to Sunday, February 8-10

The 11th annual Crown's Riverwalk Hawker's Bazaar includes fireworks, cooking demonstrations, 45 food and market stalls as well as other exhibitions and live entertainment.

Free, 11am-11pm, daily, along the Yarra in front of the Crown complex.

Saturday February 9

At the South Melbourne Market festivities begin at 9am. There's a performance from a Lion Dance Troupe at 11am, lighting of fire crackers at the York Street entrance, drums and more! A Happy Buddha will be roaming, ushering in good luck for stall-holders and market-goers.

South Melbourne Market, Saturday February 9, 322-326 Coventry Street, South Melbourne.

Saturday February 16

Free cultural activities are planned for Prahran Market, including a Lion Dance beginning in Market Square at 11am and calligraphy and children's dance workshops. There will also be a Chinese cooking demonstration by Min Su from Lee's Asian Grocery (pork dumplings and Chinese New Year Cakes) 10am -12pm at the Blanco Demonstration Kitchen.


Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra.

Street festivals

Saturday February 9

Chinese New Year festival, Burke Street, Braybrook, from 2pm-midnight.

Box Hill
Chinese New Year festival, Station Street, Box Hill, 3pm-3am (and same time, same place, Sunday February 10).

Sunday February 10

Federation Square
The Hong de Lion Dance Association will perform a traditional Lion Dance in Federation Square at 1pm. Alternatively, head to Federation Square the night before to see cult Hong Kong comedy All's Well, Ends Well, free on the big screen at 7pm (Saturday February 9).

Sunday February 10

Chinese New Year festival, Chinatown, Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, 9am-10pm. Includes dragon awakening ceremony, 12.30pm.

Sunday February 17

Glen Waverley
Lunar New Year Festival, at Kingsway shopping precinct, Kingsway, Glen Waverley, 11am-8pm.

Lunar New Year menus

Red Emporer, Southbank
Choose from a range of special dishes offered a la carte (the twice-cooked pig hock with abalone, Chinese mushrooms, black moss, sea cucumber and dried oysters sounds good). Alternatively, Red Emporer is offering a 10-course banquet (table of ten $1088) or a special one-off propserity banquet for $128 per person. On Sunday February 10 a Lion Dance performance will commence at Red Emporer at 8.30pm. Bookings: 03 9699 4170.

David's, Prahran
David's will be serving up specialty Shanghai "Spring Festival" dishes including pork 'Jiaozi ' dumplings, whole fiery steamed Barramundi, aromatic crispy duck and street-food-style pork chops on rice cakes until Sunday February 24. Celebrations kick-off on Saturday February 9 with Chinese lion dancers and firecrackers from 7.30pm.  Bookings: 03 9529 5199.

Spice Temple, Crown, Melbourne
A special 10-course banquet until Friday February 15. Head Chef Ben Pollard's menu incorporates ingredients said to promote health, wealth and fertility. $95 per person. Available for lunch and dinner. Bookings: 03 8679 1888 or visit www.rockpool.com

Claremont Tonic, South Yarra
A 6-course pan-Asian banquet feast combined with exciting traditional Chinese entertainment – think lion dance and fire crackers. Saturday February 9, 6pm, $68 per person. Bookings: 03 9827 0399.

Silks, Crown, Melbourne
Not one, but four Chinese New Year banquet "lucky" menus (ranging in price from $188 to $888 per person) and a traditional New Year a la carte menu. Featured dishes include Yu San salad, braised fresh lobster with ginger sauce and e-fu noodles, and traditional Chinese lunar cake. Available from Saturday February 9 until Saturday February 16.

Have we missed a lunar new year event? Please email it to editorial@goodfood.com.au

* To see what else is happening around Melbourne and Victoria in February, see our What's On page here.