Food is a central part of Lunar New Year celebrations, whether it’s the Chinese tradition of gong xi fa cai ‘good luck’ dumplings to eating noodles to symbolise longevity, or the Malaysian dish of yee sang prosperity toss salad, where a salad of raw fish and other ingredients is dramatically tossed to symbolise good fortune.
Lunar New Year is celebrated by people all over the world, and it has become a much-loved festival in Canberra. There’s plenty on offer around town, whether you have family and cultural ties to the festival or you’re celebrating for the first time.
The Sakyamuni Buddhist Centre in Lyneham will again host Lunar New Year celebrations with their popular vegetarian food market, community dinner of pho noodle soup, lion dancing, cultural performances and firecracker display. Abbot Thich Quang Ba and other Canberra community leaders will officially open the festival on Friday evening and offer their New Year’s wishes to attendees. Celebrations will continue across the weekend.
Public events from 6 pm to 1 am on Friday, 9 February, with further cultural celebrations on Saturday and Sunday. Sakyamuni Buddhist Centre, 32 Archibald St, Lyneham. Find out more on Facebook.
Pan-Asian precinct Tiger Lane will celebrate its first Lunar New Year with a range of special dishes and family-friendly activities. Modern Chinese restaurant Mrs Wang is running special menus featuring good luck dumplings and sumptuous Cantonese Lobster or Singapore-style mud crab hand selected from the live seafood tanks!
“As an Asian precinct, we really want to set ourselves up as the destination to celebrate Lunar New Year in Canberra, not just this year but for years to come,” said Tiger Lane’s owner Lin Wang.
“We have so many exciting activities for families and people of all ages to enjoy throughout the entire festival. Best of all, it’s to a backdrop that feels as though you could be in the streets of Hong Kong or Shanghai, which is the next best thing to being there.”
There will also be roving performances from lion and dragon dancers and taiko drum performances, and a fun Panda character will be wandering around giving away special vouchers! Those who have signed up for Tiger Lane’s new membership program also have a chance to win prizes on a wheel of fortune, and those spending over $50 can pick a special wishing tree envelope.
Lunar New Year at Tiger Lane will be celebrated from 9 to 24 February. Find out more about Tiger Lane’s events on their website.
Many people like to celebrate Lunar New Year with Yum Cha: it’s said that the more dumplings you eat, the richer you will be in the coming year! Tables will be in high demand, so book ahead at popular restaurants like The Scholar in Dickson, Ginseng at the Canberra Hellenic Club, or Yum Cha CBD in Civic. Or visit the newly opened Muku Ramen Bar in Scullin for a Lunar Valentine’s High Tea. Featuring vegan yum cha treats and “an abundance of pink”, this is sure to be a delightful way to celebrate.
Dickson will once again host Lunar New Year celebrations with street food stalls, roving performances, live music, cultural workshops, and more, thanks to the City Renewal Authority! Find out more.
How will you be celebrating the Lunar New Year? Let us know in the comments!