Winter in Chinatown

Winter in Chinatown
Jack Hayes

As the colder months creep in, there is plenty to warm your bones and celebrate in Melbourne’s Chinatown.

Chinatown’s annual, and ever popular, Dragon Boat Festival returns on Sunday, June 5, with zongzi (sticky rice pudding) making demonstrations, a life storytelling of the Dragon Boat or Duan Wu Festival, and lion dance performances.

Chinatown Precinct Association (CPA) will be giving away free zongzi and Julie’s famous cheese sandwich biscuits. The event will run from 12pm to 3pm acting as a warmup for special “Pop-up Chinatown Treats” market day.

Spanning two weekends, between 4pm and 10pm, June 3 to 5 and June 10 to 12, Heffernan Lane will be transformed into a hawker-style oasis with dumplings, rice, noodles, satay, cakes and more.

“The whiff from the hawker-style stalls will entice you to stay until night; see the transformation of the laneway into a true Night Market with Magical Mirabella Lighting,” CPA vice-president Eng Lim said.

“Come and enjoy the hawker-style eateries, Asian stores and memorabilia that Melbourne’s Chinatown has to offer and be entertained by the Lion Troupe Performances.”

The markets will coincide up Melbourne’s newest arts and culture festival, RISING, turning Chinatown’s Golden Square car park into a three-level hub of art, performance, parades and rooftop bars.

Smack bang in the middle of the longest continuous Chinatown in the west will be a twisting maze of contemporary art.

Cultures, religions and identities overlap with new iterations of centuries-old folklore with rough concrete pillars, glowing pyramids and a capitalist mega-church; the architecture of a multi-level exhibition of ritual, mythology and digital spirituality •

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