Chinese New Year 2018 is set to be big celebration here in Australia. The festivities commence on the 15th of February, with ten glorious days of feasting, fire cracking, and everyone’s favourite dragon!

If you’re keen to partake in this year’s celebrations and ring in the Year of the Dog, read on for the best Chinese New Year activities down under!

Chinese New Year Celebrations in Melbourne

The celebrations last for a full two weeks, exploring the rich history coupled with the modern influence the Chinese community has on the world’s most liveable city.

Chinese New Year Festival

Chinatown, Little Bourke Street

18 February

Kicking off in the heart of Chinatown, Melbourne’s own dragon “Dai Loong” will weave his way through the streets of the city, entertaining anyone that crosses his path. Events will be staged all throughout the CBD including hawker stalls, cultural performances, Ping-Pong finals, and even a dumpling-eating competition.

There will also be a Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea at Treasury Gardens and Top of the Town Yum Cha between Liverpool and Exhibition streets. (It wouldn’t be Chinese New Year in Melbourne, the foodie capital of Australia, if the culinary scene didn’t contribute!)

Lantern Festival

Queen Victoria Market

11 – 12 February

The grand Queen Victoria Market of Melbourne is joining in on the lunar celebrations with a Lantern Festival. The iconic market will come alight with lanterns and feature Asian food stalls, performers, and many activities for the whole family from 9am-3pm during the middle weekend in February.

Sydney Chinese New Year

Parramatta Lunar New Year

Centenary Square, Parramatta

16 February

With a flourishing Asian community, you can be sure that Parramatta will deliver nothing short of impressive festivities. Traditional and contemporary cultural performances from China, South Korea, and Vietnam will draw large crowds, while children can participate in calligraphy and lantern-making workshops. The night will be capped with a grand firework display at 9pm. This one is worth the 40-minute trip out of Sydney so grab your Thrifty vehicle from any of our Sydney car hire locations and head out west!

Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Races

Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

24-25 February

Excitement overload is what normally happens during the Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Races. Thousands of paddlers give it their all in more than 100 races. The 12-metre vessels carry 22 rowers and a drummer who leads the crew by drumming. Every boat is individually designed, with striking dragon carvings and colourful scales painted along the sides.

Chinese New Year activities in Brisbane

Chinese Lunar New Year

Chinatown Mall, Fortitude Valley

17 February

Lion dancers, fire shows, and traditional Chinese performances are just a few of the things you can expect at this bustling annual celebration as Brisbane welcomes the Year of the Dog. People flock from all over Queensland just to partake in this annual event, making it a road trip that ends with a bang and a big dragon. If that’s what you’re considering, Thrifty have car hire locations all over Queensland, so we can make it happen, no matter where you’re coming from.

Chinese New Year activities in Adelaide

Chinatown Adelaide Lunar New Year Street Party

Chinatown & Gouger Street

17 February

How fun does this sound?! Non-stop live performances, kids’ entertainment, delicious food stalls, as well as wineries participating for the first time in this annual event. You had us at ‘street party’, Adelaide!

So, however you’re celebrating Chinese New Year, don’t forget to don red for good luck!

Happy Chinese New Year or Kung Hei Fat Choy!