Chinese New Year

Gong Xi Fa Cai !  Xin Nian Kuai Le !

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese lunar calendar. Cairns has a valued cultural and commercial relationship with China, and this is reflected in our enduring relationships with Zhanjiang, our Sister City, and Zhongshan, our Friendship City. Our Chinese Friendship Garden at the Cairns Botanic Gardens celebrates these important links.

Supported by Cairns Regional Council, the Cairns Chinese community hosts vibrant annual celebrations for Chinese New Year. The hugely popular festival showcases the city's rich Chinese heritage through music, dance and cultural performances, food, market stalls, and a parade featuring the traditional Chinese dragon, lions and the 12 zodiac animals.

In addition to thousands of local attendees, the annual Chinese New Year Festival attracts around 10,000 Chinese nationals to the city each year. Many of these visitors travel on specially-chartered flights from China to celebrate their important cultural holiday in Cairns.

Visit CADCAI's website for the 2018 program.

2017 Chinese New Year celebrations

The 2017 Cairns Chinese New Year celebrations will run from 20 January until 11 February, and will feature art exhibitions, Chinese films, heritage tours, as well as the annual Business Yum Cha, Street Festival and CADCAI Gala Banquet.

These are the key dates for celebrations in Cairns. See the event listings below for more details:

  • Friday 20 January – official launch of the Great Barrier Reef Chinese New Year celebrations
  • Friday 27 January – Chinese New Year Eve fireworks on the Esplanade
  • Wednesday 1 February – Yum Cha business event
  • Saturday 4 February – Cairns Airport Chinese New Year Street Festival

Visit CADCAI's website for full program details.

Historic Cairns Chinatown Miniatures

Date: Thu 8 Feb - Wed 28 Feb
Time: 12:00am - 12:00am
Location: Cairns City Library, 151 Abbott Street, Cairns City

Step back in time to the 1880’s and explore a miniature version of Cairns Historic Chinatown. More

Chinese New Year Street Festival

Date: Sat 24 Feb
Time: 4:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Grafton Street, Cairns City

Cost: FREE

Lion and Dragon performances, art and cultural displays, Chinese food, markets and more. Free entry. More

Contact us to list your local community event on this calendar.