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Wellington's Chinese New Year Festival Returns in 2019

Wellington's Asian Events Trust (AET) are excited to be seeing in Chinese New Year 2019, Year of the Pig, with their 19th annual Chinese New Year Festival. On 9-10 February 2019, Wellington city will be bursting at the seams with Chinese culture and celebration.

Chinese New Year celebrations have become an important part of Wellington's events calendar and are a rich platform for local community groups to showcase their talents and engage the wider community, Chinese and non-Chinese, to experience and be enriched by a vibrant and diverse culture.

2019 celebrations coincide with Te Papa's Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality exhibition, which will open on 15 December 2018 and run until 22 April 2019. AET and Te Papa have come together to develop a range of new activities and events in the festival programme to support and promote the Terracotta Warriors exhibition.

Te Papa’s Chief Executive Geraint Martin says: “We know how especially important this exhibition is to the Chinese community. It’s great to be working with the Asian Events Trust to create even more excitement around the landmark exhibition and the Chinese New Year celebrations. The Year of the Pig will certainly be starting with a bang.”

Other festival staples include the East Meets West show; a dynamic, cross-culture performance at the TSB Bank Arena on Saturday 9 February. The show will be a rich cultural experience set in a contemporary context with local professional, community and international artists sharing the stage. Featured in this programme and proudly welcomed by AET, will be the Jinan Acrobatic Troupe from Shandong Province, China. The troupe is set to perform breath-taking feats that will inspire and impress audiences with repertoire that combines Beijing Opera, martial arts and contemporary dance with traditional acrobatics, to present a programme of classical and contemporary performing arts.

New Zealand's longest running contemporary dance company, Footnote New Zealand Dance, will present an excerpt from Hemispheres, a triple bill collaboration with China's oldest contemporary dance company, Guangdong Modern Dance Company (GMDC). Footnote have been long associated with Wellington's Chinese New Year celebrations and AET are thrilled to have them involved once again. Hemispheres will premiere in Auckland’s Lantern Festival programme (dates to come), before returning to Wellington (dates to come).

Following the East Meets West show, a spectacular fireworks display on the Wellington waterfront will farewell the Dog and welcome in the Pig. Sunday 10 February is Festival Day and a chance to experience the finest Chinese cuisine, crafts and cultural entertainment. The crowd favourite, Festival Day street parade will fill Wellington’s CBD with more fabulous colour, music and joy.

Linda Lim, Programme Director says: “The Jinan Acrobatic Troupe and Footnote New Zealand Dance are world class performing arts companies. We are stoked to present a Festival programme to Wellingtonians of the highest calibre. We’re also looking forward to seeing the Terracotta Warriors exhibition, which provides a unique opportunity to see the life-sized originals of China’s most ancient imperial icons.”

The full Festival programme will be unveiled by the Mayor of Wellington on 13 December in a joint event with Te Papa, who will launch the Terracotta Warriors: Guardian of Immortality exhibition.

Mayor Justin Lester, says: "WCC are proud supporters of the Chinese New Year celebrations. The 2019 programme, which promises innovative and creative arts and cultural experiences for Wellingtonians further enhances our reputation of being the arts and culture capital of New Zealand. The festival is one of the most popular in our events calendar and I really value the contributions Wellington’s Chinese community make to the city.”

2019 Chinese New Year celebrations to see out the Year of the Dog and welcome the Year of the Pig will be a celebration of cultural identity and community in the coolest little capital in the world that is not to be missed, so mark the dates in your calendar now!


9-10 February, Wellington

Visit www.chinesenewyear.org.nz or follow Chinese New Year Festival on Facebook for events and updates.

For more information about the Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality exhibition at Te Papa see www.tepapa.nz/terracottawarriors

© Scoop Media

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