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Dunedin Set To Welcome The Year Of The Dragon

Expect a colourful welcome for the Year of the Dragon when Dunedin celebrates Chinese New Year on Saturday evening.

A bumper crowd of more than 5000 people is expected at Dunedin’s Lan Yuan Chinese Garden, which will once again provide the focal point for this year’s festivities.

Weather permitting, the event will begin at 6.45pm and conclude with fireworks at 10pm.

DCC Events Team Leader Dan Hendra says, "This promises to be a great community event and we encourage everyone to come along and celebrate the Year of the Dragon with us.”

In Chinese culture the dragon represents power and prosperity, while the 2024 Wood Dragon is said to promote opportunity and understanding. People born in a Year of the Dragon are considered charismatic, intelligent, brave and destined for good fortune.

“Unfortunately the forecast is not looking great for Saturday, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on the weather and will make a final call on Saturday morning,” Mr Hendra says.

If the weather allows, the traditional Dragon Parade will leave the Octagon at 7pm and traveling to Lan Yuan Chinese Garden via the Exchange. Mayor of Dunedin Jules Radich will speak, as will representatives for mana whenua and the People’s Republic of China.

The Dragon Parade and speeches will be followed by the dotting of the lions' eyes, to bring health and prosperity, which awakens the dragons for their spectacular dance and launches the rest of the evening's entertainment.

Food trucks will be on hand and there will be musical and cultural performances throughout the evening, including a performance by Dunedin band Loose & Colourful.

Lan Yuan Chinese Garden will open to the public from 7pm, with entry by gold coin donation.

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