Celebrate Lunar New Year at this thrilling Dragon Boat Festival on the Yarra River

Get the latest from Beat


Celebrate Lunar New Year at this thrilling Dragon Boat Festival on the Yarra River

dragon boat festival
words by staff writer

This Sunday teams of dragon boaters will race along the river to the beat of the drums.

The Melbourne Dragon Boat Festival is back for a riverside celebration of the Lunar New Year. On Sunday, February 25, experience the blend of tradition and adrenaline-pumping action as presented by Dragon Boat Victoria and City of Melbourne.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Victoria Harbour, Docklands, this festival promises a day of excitement and cultural celebration.

Melbourne Dragon Boat Festival 2024

  • Sunday, February 25
  • Victoria Harbour, Docklands
  • 9am to 4pm
  • Entry is free

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.

The Dragon Boat Festival, usually taking place on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar, is used to ward off misfortune and set the energy right.

Dragon boat racing has an ancient history in China, originating more than 2500 years ago. The tradition is said to have originated in commemoration of minister Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in the Miluo River because of his disappointment with the Monarch.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dragon Boat Victoria (@dragonboatvic)

To kick off the Melbourne festivities, the traditional eye dotting ceremony will awaken the dragons and bless the boats. Then, watch in awe as spectacular dragon boats glide through the waters to the rhythmic beat of drums, showcasing the remarkable teamwork and skill of the paddlers.

But the festival offers more than just exhilarating races. Join thousands of spectators cheering on the paddlers while enjoying cultural performances, a tug-of-war, traditional lion dances, family-friendly activities and delectable delights from food trucks.

Whether you’re a participant or a spectator, come and immerse yourself in the spirit of friendly competition and cultural festivities at the Dragon Boat Festival. Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate tradition, community, and the ancient sport of dragon boating.

For more on the Melbourne Dragon Boat Festival, head here