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Lanterns light up the CBD

Auckland City Council
Media release

8 February 2008

Lanterns light up the CBD

Lanterns hanging in Auckland’s central city streets are a colourful part of Chinese New Year celebrations.

The lanterns adorning Queen, Alfred and Wellesley streets, the Viaduct Harbour and Karangahape Road, are a collaboration between Auckland City Council, Heart of the City and the Karangahape Road Business Association.

The lanterns were installed by New Year’s Day (Thursday, 7 February) and will remain until after the Auckland Lantern Festival (5.30pm to 10pm, 22 to 24 February in Albert Park), when celebrations come to a glowing finale

The popular free annual festival provided by the council, in partnership with the Asia New Zealand Foundation, is Auckland’s ninth, and in 2008 welcomes the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac.

This year the Auckland Lantern Festival features more lanterns than ever before, as well as stilt walking, drumming and lion dancing, which are all traditional forms of festival entertainment, provided by New Zealand and international performers.

A giant 23.5m long pair of Chinese dragons is one of several new feature lanterns at this year’s festival. Three lantern makers from Shanghai are coming to New Zealand to help erect them and demonstrate the art of lantern making.

Fortune telling, crafts, fireworks, martial arts displays and flavours from Asia all form part of the authentic experience.

The Auckland Lantern Festival will take place in the heart of the city’s learning quarter. A partnership between The University of Auckland, AUT University and the council aims to reinforce the quarter as a place where people go to think, learn and be enlightened.

Visit www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/lantern for more information.

The Auckland Art Gallery’s main gallery will be open for extended hours until 10pm during the festival days. Auckland City Libraries also have a number of activities celebrating Chinese New Year. Visit www.aucklandctiylibraries.com for details.


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