Tens of thousands of people turned out for this year's lantern festivals in Auckland and Christchurch celebrating the start of the Chinese New Year. 2013 is the Year of the Snake, and specifically, the Year of the Water Snake.
Take a tour through this year's festivals with our slideshows:
What's in store for the Year of the Snake?
While opinion seems to be divided, it looks like 2013 will bring a mix of good and bad fortune for all. Best to be prepared for anything!
Sign of the snake
If you were born in 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989 or 2001, then you are a snake.
People born in these years are determined, wise, analytical and good problem-solvers, who have an aura of mystery. But beware - they have a jealous streak and also hate to fail, so it pays not cross them!
Special thanks must go to our international guests, who put in a huge amount of time and energy to keep the crowds entertained. Not only did they perform many times during the festivals, but in the intervening days they also mesmerised kids at schools in both Auckland and Christchurch.
The aritsts included the folk rock band Omnipotent Youth Society, the classical musical group Beauty and Melody, acrobats from Shanghai and a dough figurine sculptor and a tea expert.
Our Lantern Festivals - background
Want to find out how the Lantern Festival began, or where our lanterns come from? We've put together some information about the origins of the festival, how it relates to the Chinese New Year, and how our Lantern Festivals have developed over time.
- Find out what the Lantern Festival is all about - history and cultural background
- Lantern Festival Quiz - test how much you know about our lanterns (and Chinese culture)
- How the Auckland and Christchurch festivals have developed over time
- How the lanterns are made - slideshow
Social sciences teaching resource
China Here and Now (level 3-4) uses the Lantern Festival as a springboard to cover several social studies achievement objectives.
Images from the 2012 celebrations