Celebrate the Year of the Horse in Kiwi style with illuminated family fun. Next year’s Auckland Lantern Festival is set to be the biggest and brightest yet, with entertainment and celebrations spread across two sites and four nights.
As well as the spectacular illuminations, on-stage performances, traditional festivities and feasting at Albert Park, a full program will also take place on Queens Wharf on the evenings of Friday 14 to Sunday 16 February. Outdoor movies, a contemporary sand painting artist, and kids’ craft activities will create a laid-back encounter with Chinese culture on Auckland’s waterfront.
Other highlights include a ‘lantern-only’ night at Albert Park on Thursday 13 February, where the magical hand-made creations can be enjoyed in a more relaxed environment, and the spectacular fireworks finale on Sunday night.
The Auckland Lantern Festival is celebrated on the first full moon following the Chinese New Year. In 2014 the festival celebrates its 15th year and will welcome in the Chinese zodiac Year of the Horse, which symbolises graciousness, dignity and momentum. The Year of the Horse is a time of victory, adventure and excitement.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) General Manager Destination and Marketing Rachael Carroll says this festival is one of the biggest and most popular cultural events in Auckland and celebrates the region’s vibrant ethnic diversity.
“By expanding the festival programme to two stunning locations we can showcase the many sides of this diverse culture – from contemporary Chinese movies to traditional drumming and from the high energy of the lion dance to the tranquility of the tea ceremony.”
The festival is organised by ATEED in partnership with Asia New Zealand Foundation and in 2014 welcomes ASB as the principal sponsor.
Asia New Zealand Foundation Chair Philip Burdon says the event is the largest public expression of friendship between Auckland and the Chinese community.
“We have been involved in the festival since the very first event in 2000 and it is wonderful to look out at the audience on opening night and see how much it is embraced by all cultures in Auckland.”