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Sheep and giant teapots for Albert Park


Asia 2000 Lantern Festival

Sheep and giant teapots for Albert Park

Next year's Asia 2000 Chinese New Year Lantern Festival, to be held 14 - 16 February, will feature more than 50 giant new lanterns specially made in China for the event. These will supplement the hundreds of existing spectacular lanterns that have thrilled visitors to the Festival in previous years.

This will be the fourth year the Festival has been held in Auckland and it is now firmly established as one of the highlights of Auckland's summer events calendar. Well over 100,000 people attended the 2002 Lantern Festival.

"The 2003 Festival will greet the Year of the Sheep in the Chinese zodiac - a very relevant celebration for New Zealand," said Asia 2000 cultural programme manager, Jennifer King. "So not only will those coming along have an opportunity to be part of an ancient Chinese tradition, they'll also experience a unique New Zealand touch with a flock of sheep lanterns specially commissioned from China." Other new lanterns include giant teapots, representing one of the most important crops from Zhejiang province where the lanterns are made.

"There will be also the exciting overseas performers (including a unique Lotus Dragon Dance and an acrobatic troupe both from China), plus the great food, crafts, fortune-telling, entertainment, fireworks and martial arts displays that have made the Lantern Festival a popular family event," said Ms King.

The Lantern Festival, which marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations, will be held in Auckland's Albert Park from 5pm to 10.30pm on 14 - 16 February 2003.

The Lantern Festival is organised by Asia 2000 in partnership with Auckland City. HSBC is the Festival's core sponsor, supported by AIA, Lee Kum Kee, Sky City Auckland, Telecom/One Card, MORE FM Auckland, Cathay Pacific, Cosco, Triangle Television and Golden Raindrop Chinese TV.

Check out Lantern Festival information on www.asia2000.org.nz or http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/lantern.

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