The Lunar New Year begins with the first new moon of the Chinese lunisolar calendar and ends on the first full moon, 15 days later. 2024 is the Year of the Dragon and starts on Saturday 10 February. Join the celebrations in and around Perth with a range of special food and drink experiences, street markets and events. Here’s our guide.
Welcome the New Year Festivities
Perth’s largest and most vibrant annual celebration is the Perth Chinese New Year Fair on Sunday 11 February. Held between James and Lake Street, Northbridge Piazza, this free event presented by the Chung Wah Association features lion and dragon dances, lantern making, calligraphy, cultural performances and food stalls. To kick things off this year, a special Golden Dragon Sculpture designed by upcycling artist Ken Allen and Professor Zengtian Sun will be unveiled on Saturday 10 February at 11am in the Northbridge Piazza.
The City of Gosnells will present a free community event Lunar New Year celebrations at Langford Park on Saturday 10 February with performances from local cultural groups, food trucks, lantern making, lion dancing and a dragon train.
Traditional Chinese Banquet
Grab some friends and family, or roll solo, and book a Lunar New Year banquet at a Chinese restaurant featuring dishes that symbolise good luck, health and prosperity for the new year. Start with a yu sheng “prosperity toss” raw fish salad or order lobster noodles which signify longevity and good luck – lobsters are also known as dragons of the sea in Chinese culture. Whole chickens and whole fish are served for togetherness as a lovely gesture, symbolising a good beginning and a good end for the coming year.
Just some of our traditional Chinese banquet picks:
Emperor’s Kitchen (1/55 Farrington Road, Leeming and 1/18 Cecil Avenue, Cannington)
Fine China Restaurant (Unit 8/1018 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park)
Fortune Five Chinese Restaurant (108A James Street, Northbridge)
Hong Kong BBQ House (76 Francis Street, Northbridge)
Northbridge Chinese Restaurant (26 Roe Street, Northbridge)
Lunar New Year Offerings Around Town
Brookfield Place will feature special cocktails and dining offerings from its restaurants and bars, as well as lion dance performances and installations. W Churchill is serving Peking duck bao and a special Lunar New Year cocktail: Oolong Oasis. Apple Daily have put a spin on their classic cocktail with the Dragonfruit Margarita Apple Daily and their take on lobster yee mein with WA Crayfish, yee mein noodles, prawn and pork sauce, cured egg yolk and fresh herbs.
Crown Perth will be enveloped in red with a whimsical six-metre-high wishing tree, illuminated lanterns and vibrant light projections. Expect dragon and lion dances, roving mascots and drumming performances throughout the property over the Lunar New Year period. The Atrium will host a prosperous buffet for lunch and dinner. The Epicurean have crafted special Lunar New Year inspired dishes for their buffet. Silks are offering a Lunar New Year dinner banquet with the menu featuring delicacies such as chicken and prawn dumpling in laksa-based soup and the crisp toothfish in ginger and garlic sauce. For lunch, there is a $69 lunchtime yum cha menu, showcasing Silks’ signature dishes.
Throughout the weekend of 10-11 February, Servo’s Eterno bottomless afternoon will have a yum cha twist, with guest chef Carrol Chew serving up Lunar New Year Malaysian classics like yee sang and lo bak go. Expect intermingling influences from Malacca and Peranakan, blended in Servo’s wood-fired kitchen.
Miss Mi will be ushering in the new year and their first birthday with a special twist on the traditional nian ye fan New Year reunion dinner, available from 10 to 24 February. Chef Alex De Leon’s nian ye fan features oysters with salmon roe, grilled squid with soy pineapple and sole wrapped in banana leaves with housemade sambal. The menu also sports grilled Exmouth tiger prawns alongside barbecue chicken wings with sticky Sichuan glaze and cola-marinated pork belly, and ends on a sweet and prosperous note with a decadent rose ginger steamed sponge cake with toasted rice ice-cream.
Special Lunar New Year Events
On Friday 16 February, the Town of Victoria Park will present the Lunar New Year Night Market, where the corner of Harper Street and Albany Highway will come alive with a Night Market featuring a special Lunar New Year-themed light show, live Chinese folk, swing and pop music, lion dances, games, a traditional Chinese costume dress-up photo booth, and arts and crafts such as clay-doll painting, red lantern and dragon-hat making. Grab some takeaway from one of our local favourites and head down.
The Wanneroo Markets have their annual celebration of the Chinese New Year on Sunday 18 February from 10am-4pm with some excellent street-food vendors and lots of family-friendly activities with face painting, live music, origami and lion dancing.
The Vietnamese Community in WA present their Tet Celebration on Friday 16 February and Saturday 17 February from 5pm on the oval of Girrawheen Senior High School, which will include traditional dances and rituals, a flag procession, lion dancing, fireworks, a fashion show to model traditional Ao Dai costumes, and street food.
The Buddha’s Light Society Western Australia Association will hold a one-day Chinese New Year vegetarian charity food fair on Sunday 18 February 9:30am-2pm at Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple Western Australia (280 Guildford Road, Maylands), featuring dishes like lotus rice, vegetarian versions of Penang favourites including nasi lemk, chicken rice, assam laksa, traditional pastries, kueh, yam cake and silky tofu pudding.
Lunar New Year Gifts
The Lunar New Year is a time of gift giving, where the front counters of Asian supermarkets will be filled with various Lunar New Year products. Some treats to look out for are: nian gao (Chinese steamed sweet rice cake), banh tet (Vietnamese sticky rice cake) and bak kwa (Chinese pork jerky).Browse the aisles of Lucky Import & Export (112-118 Brisbane Street, Perth), NP Girrawheen Supermarket (1/3 Wade Court, Girrawheen), Long Hui Supermarket (370 William Street, Perth), Golden Choice (Northbridge and Subiaco) and MCQ Supermarkets (various locations in Northbridge, Morley, Malaga, Subiaco)
Ending Lunar New Year Festivities
Celebrate the end of the Lunar New Year 15-day period with the Western Australian Dragon Boat Festival at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour on Sunday 25 February in an atmosphere of pageantry and colour, high-octane energy and centuries-old Chinese culture and tradition with world class dragon boat athletes competing. Throughout the day experience the colourful celebrations of the Chinese New Year at Mews Park and Bathers Beach with lion dancing, drumming performances and firecrackers.