Arts and Culture

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

Auckland and Christchurch Lantern Festivals

Each year, Auckland Domain and Hagley Park come alive in February with spectacular Chinese lanterns, incredible food stalls and local and international performers. 2017 is the year of the red fire rooster.

Watch a video from the 2017 Auckland Lantern Festival

The international acts

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 2017 will be the rooster.

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