CADCAI shares Chinese culture through performing and visual arts, language, music and dance.  Our performers regularly contribute to community events and festivals in the region. Regular training and workshops support the performance arts program. CADCAI welcomes young people and adults from diverse backgrounds.

Chinese Mandarin Language Class

Held Sundays  9.30am – 11.40 am  during the school year

Location:  Edge Hill State School  

Target age group: 4 – 18 years old children for different 3 levels; beginner, middle and advanced.

Note: At this stage, only beginner and middle levels available.

To register or make enquiries, please contact:

Dragon Dance Performance

Chinese dragons are powerful and benevolent symbols in Chinese culture that feature in Chinese legends, festivals, astrology and art. They  symbolize imperial power, good fortune, wisdom, power over weather and water, and a pioneering spirit.

The CADCAI Dragon dance team performs at Chinese New Year, Cairns Festival and other community cultural  events in the region such a the Mareeba Multicultural Festival. The team encourages and welcomes adults of all ages to join and learn this flamboyant and entertaining art form.

Practise is seasonal, in preparation for festival performances, and is usually held at Balaclava State School on Saturdays between 2.00 and 3.30pm.

For enquiries please contact: Yvette Mcgrath
Ph 0438 725 298 or email:

Lion Dance & Percussion Training

CADCAI provides Lion Dance classes and training  for children and youth who are keen to learn and join our Performing Arts team.

The  Lion Team is particularly busy during Chinese New Year when the auspicious lions  take centrestage at public events and perform at various venues and restaurants around town to ward off evil spirits and bestow happiness, good luck and prosperity to all.  The  Lion team is our public interface and CADCAI is  extremely proud of the hard work, dedication, and passion  that our young performers display in learning  and sharing their cultural traditions. (Note: Traditional Chinese lion dances have been performed in the region since Chinese settlement began in  Cairns the surrounding districts  from 1876!)

TRAINING is held each Friday 5.00pm – 6.30 pm (during the school term) at Balaclava State School. Children and adults are welcome to join.

Enquiries: Contact James Sing on 0488 288 943 or email:

BOOKINGS for Lion Dance Performances: Contact Ken Wong on 07 4032 3688 or email :

Photo Credit: Wendu Tao

Molihua Dance Group

The CADCAI Molihua Chinese Dance group perform a blend of contemporary and traditional Chinese dance routines using fans, drums, hoops, ribbons, etc. Since 1986, the group has performed at various regional multicultural events as well as interstate at the Bendigo Easter Festival and overseas at Cairns’ sister city, Zhanjiang.

CADCAI community dance classes are held on Saturday mornings, 10:30am-11:30am at FNQ Dance Academy.

Suitable for children from 6 years and over. New students are welcome.

For more information please contact Amy Sing on 0488 288 843 or email

Dragon Boat Festival

Celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, the Dragon Boat festival is also known as Double Fifth Festival or Duānwǔ Jié.  The festival originated from the legend of people paddling out on long fishing boats to salvage the body  Qu Yuan (343–278 BC), a patriotic poet, who drowned himself in the Mi Luo River in 278 BC. Unable to find his body, they beat drums, splashed the water with their paddles and scattered rice into the river  to keep the fish and evil spirits from eating his body.

To commemorate QU Yuan’s sacrifice, the traditions of eating “Zongzi” (glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves) and holding dragon boat races is still carried out nowadays during Duānwǔ Jié or the Dragon Boat Festival.

To celebrate Duānwǔ Jié , CADCAIorganises a community event where families can meet and enjoy traditional food. For more information contact

Mid-Autumn or Moon Cake Festival

The Mid-autumn Festival  falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month when the moon is at its brightest. Traditionally, the festival marks the end of the autumn harvest and was a time to give thanks to the gods.

Moon-appreciation gatherings are a popular way to enjoy the occasion, as family and friends celebrate outdoors with colourful paper lanterns, drink tea, feast on mooncakes and pass on legend and myths of this festival to their children.

The community comes together to celebrate this festival with mooncakes and other delectable foods.  For more information about this event, please contact

The Lantern Festival

Also known as the Yuan Xiao Festival falls on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar and marks the end of the Spring Festival. The Lantern Festival in Cairns concludes the Cairns Chinese New Year Festival  and is held at the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon area where floating lanterns are released into the water 

Qing Ming

An important age-old Chinese festival where families make their annual pilgrimage to their ancestral graves to to “sweep the tombs” and pay respects to their forebears and loved ones. In China, it is a public holiday, and occurs 104 days after the winter solstice.

To celebrate Qing Ming, CADCAI held a community event (in 2022/2023) to increase awareness of the festival and to recognise and pay our respects to the thousands of invisible Chinese migrants who came to North Queensland to “seek their fortune” but sadly died here without any family around them. 

Watch this space for information regarding plans to celebrate Qing Ming in  2025

Photo Credit: Neil Mitchell Brierly 1945, Cairns Victory Parade, Grafton St,  Cairns 

Cairns & District Chinese Association Inc

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