Gallop into the Year of the Horse

We are now in the midst of Lunar New Year festivities, which started on 31 January. Since then, Chinatown and other parts of the city have been celebrating with a parade of the world’s longest dragon, firecrackers, lion dances and of course, plenty of eating!

The Lunar Festival continues until 14 February so there’s still plenty of time to book a Chinese restaurant and taste New Year dishes that you can only order during this time. Here’s a round-up of other ways you can get into the Lunar spirit!

Docklands Dragon
Over the last few days, Docklands has seen the arrival of a spectacular 100-metre long dragon, with head that stands 10 metres off the ground. The dragon is made from steel pipes and covered in silk fabrics, and at night is illuminated with hundreds of inner lanterns.

Take a water taxi service from Southbank and enjoy the waterfront views along the way. Every night you can see traditional Chinese entertainment between 6:30pm and 7:30pm – plus you have an opportunity to win two return tickets to Shanghai! Daily until 16 February.

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Celebrate Chinese New Year at Eureka Skydeck
For a Lunar New Year with a view, head to the Eureka Skydeck, where red lanterns, terracotta warriors, and a small exhibition on Chinese culture welcome in the Year of the Horse.

Being on the 88th floor of Eureka Tower, the Eureka Skydeck is lucky for Chinese visitors as number 8 in Mandarin sounds similar to the words ‘to prosper’, and 88 looks like ‘double happiness’, which means you have a double dose of good luck just by visiting! Until 13 February.

Chinese New Year with Tan Dun
On Friday 7 February you can experience contemporary Chinese culture with film composer, Tan Dun, who wrote the academy-winning score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero.

Listen to new contemporary pieces as well as classical scores from Mendelssohn and Prokofiev, as Tan Dun conducts the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Paganini Competition First Prize violinist Lu Siqing and China’s leading young pipa player, Xie Yudan, for this special concert.

Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Regatta
The Dragon boat races at Docklands are a much-loved annual highlight on the Lunar Festival calendar. This form of boat racing draws on its ancient Chinese heritage with traditional rituals performed by monks to bless the boats before the race, to ‘awaken’ the dragon within and protect all those competing in the boats. On Sunday 9 February.

For ideas on where to eat and drink in Chinatown during the Lunar New Year, visit What’s On.