Auckland Lantern Festival

Auckland Lantern Festival ⓒ ATEED

This February marks the twentieth anniversary of the much-loved Auckland Lantern Festival, New Zealand’s largest cultural festival.

Taking place over four days, from 14 to 17 February, over eight hundred handmade lanterns will shine their light in and around the trees and pathways of the Auckland Domain to celebrate the Chinese New Year. From traditional red lanterns to elaborate scenes, the array of colors and intricate paper designs will be a sight to behold.

The festival also features an extensive programme of local and international Chinese acts, more than a hundred food stalls, art and craft displays and demonstrations, karaoke, and roaming performers.

New features this year include ‘Traveller’s Avenue’ to recognize the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism, and an impressive, 7 x 3.5 meter lantern of a China Southern Airline plane in the Guangzhou skyline to honor Auckland’s thirtieth anniversary with Guangzhou as its sister city.

To pay tribute to the Year of the Pig―the last animal on the twelve-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac―a new spectacular pig lantern will be on display. Also, on the Harbour Bridge, Vector Lights will present a Year of the Pig inspired animation show between 8:00 pm and midnight for the duration of the festival.

The Auckland Lantern Festival is an Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) led event and plays an important role in improving Auckland’s visitor economy, an essential goal for the city’s growth agency.

Stuart Turner, Head of Major Events at ATEED, says the festival is a much-awaited cultural highlight in Auckland’s events program.

Auckland Lantern Festival’s 20-year reign really does speak volumes. Its enormous popularity has dictated the festival duration, venue changes, and range of performances and attractions over the years, with the festival growing to become one of the most loved events on Auckland’s calendar. There’s something for everyone at this festival: unique performances, music, food and the beautiful displays; but it’s the cultural experience that draws people in, which is why ATEED is proud to support events that showcase and celebrate Auckland’s diverse people and cultures.

With up to 200,000 people likely to attend the four-day event, organizers are encouraging festival goers to plan their visit in advance.