Sovereign Hill celebrates Lunar New Year this month with massive food festival, Tai Chi and parades

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Sovereign Hill celebrates Lunar New Year this month with massive food festival, Tai Chi and parades

Discover the rich cultural legacy of Ballarat’s Chinese community from the gold rush to today.

Lunar New Year, also commonly referred to as Chinese New Year, is one of the most significant holidays on the calendar in South-East Asia. Usually falling on the second new moon after the winter solstice, in 2023 Lunar New Year starts on Sunday, January 22, when revellers will bring in the Year of the Rabbit.

To mark the celebration, Victoria’s iconic living museum, Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill on Wadawurrung Country, is celebrating the goldfields’ rich Chinese history this Lunar New Year with four days of music, food and cultural activities.

Keep up with the latest in local news and entertainment here.

With celebrations running from January 26 to January 29, Sovereign Hill will be buzzing with music, food, and cultural family-friendly activities over the four-day festivities; from spectacular dragon and lion parades and experiencing live performances, and to feasting on dumplings, noodles and other treats crafted by Peter Rowland Group.

Here are some of the highlights:


Main Street explodes with music, colour and dancing with a spectacular dragon and lion parade.

Lunar New Year banquet

No celebration is complete without an epic feast. Indulge in a three-course lunch banquet featuring a delicious menu of dumplings, noodles, desserts and drinks. Bookings essential.

Enjoy a feast

Gather your crew and head to the New York Bakery for an explosion of flavour with an Asian Feast Platter with assorted dumplings, spring rolls, chicken skewers and dipping sauces.

Cheers to Lunar New Year

Raise a toast to the Year of the Rabbit with Peter Rowland Group’s limited-edition cocktail featuring a lush mix of watermelon, orange juice, and their exclusive Sly Grog gin.


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Hop into the Hope Bakery

Drop into the Hope Bakery for a hearty rabbit and vegetable pie hand-crafted by Peter Rowland’s chefs at Sovereign Hill.

Kids activities

Kids can get into the Lunar New Year festivities with face painting and craft activities.

Wishing Tree

Stroll along the lake to the Wishing Tree. Write down your dreams, hopes and ambitions and hang them on the tree. Who knows, 2023 could be your year!

Cultural performances

Experience colourful performances including ribbon dancing, Tai Chi, fan dancing, and other traditional Chinese entertainment across Sovereign Hill.

AURA sound and light show

Lunar New Year continues into the evening with the immersive AURA show. Discover life on the goldfields for Chinese migrants as Ballarat’s gold rushes come to life under the night sky.

Explore the full program here