Chinese New Year in Northbridge Perth

The most auspicious date on the Chinese calendar is that of the New Year. With the Chinese Diaspora stretching far and wide Chinese New Year is one of those events that is celebrated in a lot of countries. That is certainly true in Perth, Western Australia which, because of its proximity just south of China, it’s even on the same time zone, is home to a large number of people of Chinese descent.

Parts of the inner city area known as Northbridge have long been referred to as Chinatown because of the number of Asian restaurants and businesses in the precinct, and because it is home the Chung Wah Association, which provides many services to the Chinese community.

Northbridge is a place where many Perth people go to eat and to party, as it is home to a good number of restaurants, clubs, pubs and bars. Now the City of Perth, which has jurisdiction over Northbridge has lent its support to stage an annual Chinese New Year festival there.

James Street, one of the main thoroughfares, is closed for the occasion and stall holders set up in the street. Most of the stalls are aimed more at promoting Chinese culture than in selling goods, although there is still plenty to purchase.

Many of the stalls sell regional Chinese food, and even though they have this added competition, the restaurants still do a booming trade as lines of customers queue up outside for the traditional Dim Sum lunches.

Where you get crowds you also expect entertainment, and the festival begins with members of the Chung Wah Association staging very energetic lion dances to the accompaniment of drums and cymbals.

Entertainment is not limited to Chinese cultural activities as Chinese New Year also coincides with the Annual Perth Fringe Festival, which is also held in and around Northbridge, and which is itself a precursor to the renowned Perth International Arts Festival.

When the Fringe is on you know that you will have the opportunity to see some great acts, especially music, theatre and comedy, and also plenty of burlesque. There is entertainment that is at times suitable for the whole family and, especially later at night, aimed squarely at a more adult audience.

Chinese New Year and the Fringe Festival combine to make Northbridge a fantastic place to visit. Being held in Summer, when you can practically guarantee perfect balmy nights, the whole of Northbridge comes alive as people who are searching for fun don’t have far to go to find it.

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