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Chinese New Year Festival set to colour Wellington

28 NOVEMBER 2019

Chinese New Year Festival set to colour Wellington in February 2020

One of Wellington’s favourite cultural events returns 1-2 February 2020 with another explosive programme. Asian Events Trust is proud to present the Chinese New Year Festival 2020, the Year of the Rat.

From its humble beginnings in 2002, the annual Chinese New Year celebrations have become an important part of Wellington's events calendar. The festival provides a rich platform for local community groups to showcase their talents and inspire the wider community to experience and engage with a vibrant and diverse culture.

The festival will kick off on Saturday 1 February with the crowd-favourite East Meets West show, a cross-culture, cross-genre showcase at the TSB Arena. In 2019 the show was met with a packed out TSB Arena and standing ovations, the 2020 programme is set to continue the momentum. The theme of the upcoming East Meets West show is Colours of our Culture, inspired by visual artist Guy Ngan, a second-generation Chinese-New Zealander whose work is characterised by bold colours.

Linda Lim, Chinese New Year Festival Programme Director says, “The East Meets West show forms an integral part of the festival programme and we are thrilled to acknowledge Guy Ngan’s significant contribution to Aotearoa’s cultural landscape.”

The show will feature performances through song, dance and film to highlight the significance of colours to the Chinese culture.

Liz Ngan, daughter of Guy and guardian of his estate and artistic legacy says, “I am excited to see this collaboration between visual and performing arts and the opportunity for the Chinese and wider community to enjoy Guy’s work in this context.”

Following the East Meets West show, a spectacular fireworks display on Wellington’s waterfront will farewell the Year of the Pig and welcome in the Rat. Sunday 2 February is Festival Day and a chance to experience the finest Chinese cuisine, crafts and more cultural entertainment at TSB Arena. The Festival Street Parade will also be making a highly anticipated return on Sunday, filling Wellington’s CBD with more fabulous colour, music and joy.

“The Chinese community are a small but important part of Wellington, making a vital contribution to the city’s social and economic wellbeing and prosperity. The festival is a celebration of the efforts of the many diverse groups and organisations who come together to deliver an authentic celebration of the most important event in the Chinese calendar,” says Lim.

In Chinese culture the rat represents optimism, intelligence and energy; all of which audiences will experience in the 2020 festival programme, including performances by the Longjiang Arts Troupe who will travel from Chongqing province China to headline the festival. Packed with vibrant cultural entertainment and activity, bursting with colour and the inviting smells of Asian cuisine, the Chinese New Year Festival holds something for everyone.

"We are so proud of Chinese New Year celebrations in Wellington; our dynamic, colourful and inclusive programme fills a vital gap in the city, for the wider community to celebrate the cultural diversity of Wellington and for the Chinese community to feel at home. We are looking forward to seeing the whole of Wellington join us to welcome in the Year of the Rat,” says Lim.


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