Plenty of Chinese New Year choices

CBD residents have plenty of choices this Chinese New Year, which gets underway on Friday, January 27 and concludes on February 12.

And the events are not confined to Chinatown either.  This year even more events are spreading around and beyond the inner city.

As in previous years, the Dai Loong dragon will be awoken from 11.30am and will be taken through Chinatown on February 29 with the usual colour, noise and action.

This year another major hub will be the Queen Victoria Market.  The market is hosting a Hongboa wishing wall, traditional performances, a Lunar New Year banquet on January 28, special performances at the February 1 night market and a lantern festival on February 11 and 12.

Emporium Melbourne is hosting interactive installations and the Chinese Museum in Cohen Place is also a major festival hub.

Other events in surrounding Southbank and Docklands (and even Melbourne Zoo) can be found at the Chinese New Year United website – www.cnymelbourne.com.au.  Regional centres of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo are also starting to feature in a statewide co-ordinated effort.

Launching the festival on January 23, Tourism and Major Events Minister John Eren pointed out that China did $20 billion worth of annual trade with Victoria.

He said 565,000 Chinese visitors came to Victoria last year, which generated $2.3 billion worth of economic activity.

This year, the festival is reaching out to Victoria’s 176,000 international students, many of whom have volunteered to help with the 17-day festival.

Mr Eren praised the united approach adopted by the participants and predicted that Victoria’s Chinese New Year festival would soon be the best in the world.

Federation of Chinese Associations president Junxi Su thanked Minister Eren for the State Government’s support.

“Minister, your money is well spent,” she said.

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