Melbourne Chinese New Year 2014

melbourne chinese new yearThe traditional celebration of Chinese New Year is a consequential event that dates back centuries, to a legend involving a mythical monster named Nian (meaning year) and a wise old man. The tale has passed from generation to generation, explaining how the man warded off the evil of the lion-like monster by making loud noises with drums and firecrackers and hanging red paper cutouts and scrolls on their doors as the monster was scared of the colour red.

Chinese New Year marks the anniversary of the ‘passing of the Nian’,  known as guo nian in Chinese. The date of the Chinese New Year is based on the Lunar calendar, which is centred around the moon’s orbit of Earth. Chinese New Year falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice, which is between the middle of January and middle of February according to the Gregorian (or Western) calendar. In 2014, Chinese New Year falls on 31st January.

2014 marks the Chinese New Year of the horse. The epitome of of strength, energy and intelligence, the spirit of the Chinese zodiac of the horse is celebrated for its unremitting efforts to improve itself. People born in the year of the horse are considered to be clever, kind, perceptive and cheerful, yet they are also known to talk too much, be stubborn, impatient and bad with matters of money.

Chinese New Year in Melbourne

Being one of the most cultural locales in Australia, Melbourne is easily the ideal place to celebrate Chinese New Year. Each year the city comes alive with 15 days of avid cultural festivities celebrating the traditional Chinese festival with authentic Sino-flair. Melbourne will be welcoming the year of the horse with a range of vibrant festivities all over the city.

melbourne chinese new year2Major Chinese New Year celebrations are occurring around 8 locations in Melbourne city from 19th January – 2nd February, each celebrating the rich diversity of Chinese heritage. Check out the locations and event times at Melbourne’s official Chinese New Year page.

China Town will of course be hosting vibrant festivities on the night of the Chinese New Year in a sea of  red and gold. The spectacular show of the Dragon’s Awakening Ceremony and subsequent Dragon parade will be taking place in Little Bourke Street in China Town.

On top of this, Federation Square will be hosting a flurry of activity including a specially curated screen program on the big screen the night of January the 31st. Then on Saturday 1st February, Fed Square will welcome the new year with the city’s premier lion dancing troupe, Hong de Lion. The flamboyant performance will be complete with kaleidoscopic colours and extravagant dance movements. The performance will also be complemented by shows from Melbourne’s Chinese Choir, mass Tai Chi lessons and drop-in exhibition Mah Jong games. Visit Fed Square’s website for more information.

Regardless of whether you have Chinese heritage or not, the Chinese New Year is an exciting and exuberant cultural celebration that is well worth the trip to witness. The convenience of the Chinese holiday falling on a weekend means you have no excuse not to book in a night at Melbourne CBD hotel accommodation and make the most of this incredible festival. Words do not do the festival justice, so ensure you clear your schedule the weekend of the 31st January-2nd February now to secure a spot at one of the most vibrant cultural celebrations in the country. Stay at convenient Swanston street accommodation to completely immerse yourself in the action and make getting home after the exhausting celebration a breeze. The Swanston Hotel will give you a great night’s sleep after the thrilling festivities. So plan your trip to celebrate Chinese New Year in authentic style in Australia now. 

 

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