Chinese New Year lights up the city

Melbourne is in the midst of welcoming the Year of the Monkey. Chinese New Year celebrations began over the weekend, and for two weeks we’re lucky enough to be able to enjoy a lively cultural festival full of food, colour, culture and new beginnings.

At Federation Square be dazzled by the light installations, in Chinatown witness roving performers, cultural workshops and the much-loved dragon parade on 14 February, at the Melbourne Zoo join the Year of the Monkey Experience and along the banks of the river at Southbank enjoy a spectacular view filled with illuminated zodiac lanterns and the festival’s official closing ceremony.

In the meantime, here are some of the sights from the festival so far.

People sit at outdoor tables decorated with red umbrellas and lanterns. It is night and there are foodtrucks in the background.

A busy night at the Food Truck Park as families and friends enjoy the culinary offerings

A group of people stand in front of many small cards on red ribbons hanging from a tree.

Everyone is invited to write a message or wish on a card and hang it on the tree

Two long rows of red lanterns hang from trees at night.

Red lanterns light up the night sky along Southbank

People stand in front of a large glowing lantern in the shape of a girl at night.

Festival goers admire the zodiac lantern display along the river

A child watches on in awe as Scroll Ice Cream makes their signature ice cream scrolls at the festival.

A child watches on in awe as Scroll Ice Cream makes their signature ice-cream scrolls at the festival

A young man smiles at the camera while holding out a cup of red ice-cream.

Scroll Ice Cream offer a cup of their signature Red Pocket Raspberry flavour

A woman poses with three people in traditional characters in costume. The city is in the background.

A festival goer poses with traditional characters in costume

A busy street in Chinatown, with a crowd of people, and lanterns hanging from wires.

Crowds gather in Chinatown at dusk for the night’s festivities

A woman dressed in traditional costume makes scallion pancakes.

A food stall vendor makes traditional scallion pancakes with various delicious fillings

Three young women standing and eating with trees and umbrellas in the background.

People enjoying the various treats the food vendors have on offer at Southbank

A man paints a fan with traditional Chinese characters using a calligraphy brush and ink while another man looks on.

A fan is being painted with traditional Chinese characters with calligraphy brush and ink

Join the families and groups of friends who gather for food and festivities during the day, and wait for dusk when the city comes alight. The Chinese New Year Festival runs until Sunday 21 February.