Arts and Culture

We support and organise Asia-related events and festivals, and offer artists professional development opportunities in Asia

Lantern Festival

Each year Auckland Domain and Christchurch's Avon River Precinct and Cathedral Square come alive with beauitiful Chinese lanterns, incredible food stalls and spectacular local and international performers.

2018 is the year of the dog in the chinese zodiac. The dog is the 11th of the 12 animals in the zodiac. People born in the year of the dog are loyal, clever, courageous, lively, stubborn and emotional.

Watch a video from the 2018 Auckland Lantern Festival

About the Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival has been part of Chinese New Year celebrations since the Han Dynasty (206 BC- 221 AD).

Usually held on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, it marks the end of New Year festivities.

It is said that the holiday evolved from an ancient Chinese belief that celestial spirits could be seen flying about in the light of the first full moon of the lunar calendar.

People used torches and eventually lanterns of every shape, size and colour to aid them in spotting the spirits.

The lanterns come in all shapes and sizes. Some are created in the form of animals, insects, flowers, people or even machines and buildings. Others depict scenes from popular stories teaching filial piety and traditional values. A favourite subject is the zodiac animal of the year, which in 2018 will be the dog.

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