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  • Shona McCarthy

Box Hill Chinese New Year Festival


(Me with a Chinese Deity selling massage chairs in Box Hill Central, 2018.)

Imagine a Chinese New Year Festival full of Lion Dances, costumed vendors and delicious food. Now imagine that it is so large and vibrant and bustling that it takes up the entire shopping strip along Whitehorse road in Box Hill. Imagine being able to get there very easily since Box Hill Station is just inside Box Hill Central. You are now imagining the Box Hill Chinese New Year Festival. I've been to many, many Chinese New Year festivals. In fact, I would say I love Chinese New Year about as much as I love Christmas. Maybe more, since I have to make Christmas happen, it's only as big as I make it, and my family aren't as excited about it as me. But at Box Hill Chinese New Year Festival, it's always full, even when the weather is sweltering. It's such a jubilant environment, too. A great place to take photos in hanfu, as I did. Do you have troubles, do you have worries? Feel them melt away amongst the crowds and the food stands, and the fire crackers going off so loud you think you're in a warzone.

If you're finding it too warm and uncomfortable outside, or you just need a bathroom break, you can always go inside Box Hill Central, where there are multiple bathrooms, air conditioning, and many places where you can buy cold drinks.

The fact that the festival is largely localized in one street makes it relatively easy to navigate, so that you're much less likely to miss the dragon dances than you would at other Chinese New Year celebrations. Though I have to say, all the ones I have visited around Melbourne have been fantastic.

(Since it is a time of great business promotion, many costumed characters wander the street. Great for taking lots of fun photos. 2019.)

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