Dumplings, dragon dancers and street parades – where to celebrate Chinese New Year in Brisbane
A welcome addition to the start-of-year calendar, the annual Chinese New Year festivities celebrate the turn of the traditional Chinese lunar calendar and bring bright lights, delicious cuisine and lion dancing to our great city. This year we welcome the Year of the Rat with plenty of celebrations running from late January all the way through to mid February. If you are keen to check out some action-packed events, we’ve rounded up all the colourful festivities taking place in and around Brisbane.
Chinese New Year Parade, Brisbane City: To celebrate Lunar New Year and The Year of the Rat, over 2500 multicultural street performers will hit the streets of the city for a spectacular Chinese New Year Parade on Saturday February 8. Starting off at King George Square, the performers will bring colour and festivities to streets of the CBD, finishing at King George Square. Gather the family and head to the city to celebrate the festivities and see the live Lion Dance – the traditional Chinese dance in which performers mimic a lion’s movements in a lion costume to bring good luck and fortune. Please note – as of January 31 this event has been cancelled.
Chinese New Year Performances, Brisbane City: Join in on the fun and festivities that is Chinese New Year in Queen Street Mall on Friday January 24 and Saturday January 25. Check out the array of traditional dance, music and festive performances when the mall comes alive with a celebration of Chinese culture. There will be traditional performances such as bamboo pole dancing and the popular Lion and Dragon dances to the beat of traditional Chinese drums.
Little Valley, Fortitude Valley: Chinese New Year festivities at Little Valley promises to be bigger and better than ever for the Year of The Rat! From Tuesday January 21 to Saturday February 1, tuck into a Chinese New Year banquet for only $85 or take part in the Chinese New Year’s Eve party on Friday January 24, or the New Years Day party on Saturday January 25 with lion dancers performing at 8:00 pm each night. The Chinese New Year closing ceremony on Saturday February 1 will also feature live DJs and festivities from 5:00 pm.
Madame Wu, Brisbane City: Celebrate the Chinese New Year in style at Madame Wu with a scrumptious banquet feast to give blessings for the year ahead. Across three nights in January – Friday 24, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 – load up on scallop spring rolls, scampi sashimi and smoked quail dumplings and much more for $120 per person with optional matched wine packages. Book now at the Madame Wu website.
Sichuan Papa, Everton Park: Celebrate at Sichuan Papa on Thursday 23, Friday 24 and Saturday 25 of January with live Lion Dancing and a delicious banquet special with eight courses including the likes of duck fried rice, xiao long bao and black-pepper beef. Tickets are $65 per person, book now by calling 07 3355 3063.
The Lanes, Fortitude Valley: On Saturday February 1, follow the chimes of the Chinese Dragon through The Lanes for its Chinese New Year celebrations. Weaving its way through Bakery Lane and California Lane, the traditional Chinese Dragon and music ensemble will be bringing cheer and good fortune to all, while eateries and bars within The Lanes present a plethora of oriental flavours from far and wide. Sample a variety of Asian cuisines, beginning with some chow from Fat Dumpling Bar or indulge in giant chocolate dipped Chinese fortune cookies, covered in sprinkles from Cakes & Sh*t. To finish off, sip on lychee martinis from Six Ninety Bar and Eatery.
Sunnybank Plaza, Sunnybank: From Wednesday January 22 to January 26 then culminating in the annual Rooftop Lunar New Year party the following Saturday February 1, Sunnybank Plaza are celebrating Lunar New Year with a plethora of events. The free family-friendly activities include traditional tai chi, lion dance and kung-fu performances, live cooking demonstrations, feng shui consultations, do-it-yourself Chinese calligraphy workshops, ice carving and so much more.
Tai Tai, South Brisbane: Tai Tai is celebrating the Chinese New Year with a feast of flavours from Sunday January 26 to Sunday February 9. Tuck into porcini and wild-mushroom dumplings and fluffy bao buns, then finish off with the extremely Instagrammable artisan raindrop jelly. To book a table, call 07 3186 6966 or book online.
Brisbane Quarter, Brisbane City: From now until January 27, Brisbane Quarter will light up the night with a lights spectacular and a special cherry blossom tree installation located on Podium 1. If you’re looking for somewhere snack on some peking duck pancakes and freshly made prawn dim sum, Brisbane Phoenix is the winning destination. To mark Lunar New Year eve, Brisbane Phoenix will come alive with the colour and sounds of a traditional Lion Dance at 7:00 pm on Friday 24 January. For reservations, visit Brisbane Phoenix or call 3175 2566.
Donna Chang, Brisbane City: Welcome the year of the rat at a special Chinese New Year banquet at at Donna Chang from Saturday January 25 to Saturday February 8. Designed by head chef Jason Margaritis, the banquet is $128 per person with the option for vino lovers to add signature matched wines curated by group sommelier Penny Grant for another $50 per person. Be quick and book a table here.
Brisbane Racing Club, Ascot: Celebrate the Chinese New Year at Eagle Farm Racecourse with tasty food, entertainment and celebrations as well as an action-packed live racing on the track. Sip champagne whilst you soak up all the excitement of live racing. Tickets are available from $15 per person.
Mr Mista, Fortitude Valley: Kickstart the year in style at Mr Mista with an indulgent spit roast pork feast on Tuesday January 28. Setting you back just $65 per person, expect all your favourite Asian side dishes. Book online today at Mr Mista’s website.
Jimmy’s on the Mall, Brisbane City: The Queen Street Mall institution is celebrating the Chinese New Year in Brisbane with a feast of flavours from January 20 to February 16. Enjoy any Chinese New Year meal and drink for $38 per person including the likes of crispy skin barramundi, free range pork belly, seafood chow mein and Mongolian beef which can be paired with a cold beer or house white wine. To book a table, call 07 3077 7126 or book online.
The Multicultural Community Centre, Newmarket: Celebrate the Lunar New Year with live performances, plenty of food, lion dances and a firecrackers show at The Multicultural Community Centre’s annual Chinese New Year night market on February 1 from 4:00–9:00pm. There will also be local performers and workshops showcasing Asian culture, as well as food trucks and markets with handcrafted goods.