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Chinese New Year Melbourne

words by niall roeder

January 1 might’ve been New Year’s Day for a lot of us, but for our Chinese friends, the first day of the calendar and the Year of the Rooster is January 28. The Chinese might be running late, but they go hard – their New Year’s festival is 17 days of dragons, dumplings and fireworks – and if we’re all getting another chance to celebrate new-year-new-rooster, then so be it.

Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival is designed to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to come together and celebrate the Year of the Rooster. Over the 17 days, there will be citywide feasts, lighting installations, and cultural performances and activities from Queensbridge Square, Queen Victoria Market, Chinatown, the Chinese Museum, Melbourne Zoo, Eureka Skydeck and Southgate, to Docklands and DFO South Wharf.

A night visit to Docklands could be your chance to try the “Eight Cuisines” of China (Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, and Zhejiang) while sipping a waterfront cocktail. Maybe you’d prefer to try free Tai Chi at Queensbridge Square. Or perhaps a performance by the Beijing Dance Academy and China’s Three Tenors is more your cup of (green) tea.

Year of the Rooster
Getting lost with all the cock-talk? The Chinese zodiac assigns an animal to each year in a repeating twelve-year cycle. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster, which represents fidelity and punctuality and is the only bird in the Chinese zodiac.

If you were born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 or 2017, you were born in a year of the Rooster. Just like in Western astrology, the Chinese symbols are said to have certain characteristics. Roosters are on the one hand said to be kind-hearted, courageous, humorous, hardworking and honest, and on the other hand, manipulative, arrogant, wild and gullible.

Are you funny, wild and cocky? This might be your year.

Chinese New Year Melbourne festival runs from Jan 27 – Feb 12

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