New Year is possibly the best holiday in existence. There’s something incredibly freeing about the idea of a year ticking over—particularly the one we've just had—making us feel like we’re ready to face anything. And of course, there are all the festivities which come with the occasion. Well, lucky for us Aucklanders, we can celebrate the occasion once more in March thanks to the Chinese Calendar and the annual Lantern Festival.
Having been cancelled last year due to the COVID fubar, the Auckland Lantern Festival will be back bigger and better than ever at a stunning new waterfront location a week later than advertised thanks to the recent uncertainity around alert levels. Now from 4 to 7 March, Captain Cook And Marsden Wharves will see themselves adorned in hundreds of beautiful, handmade lanterns of all description, shining bright against the evening sky.
For the first time the event will be ticketed, to allow for planning and crowd control. Festival Event Producer Eric Ngan says: “Safety is a major priority for us. Through ticketing we can improve our crowd and capacity management throughout the festival, and support contact tracing. We are asking everyone to book their tickets early - choosing a specific entry time to the festival.”
You can expect the usual hustle and bustle of plenty of street stalls over the four-day festival, selling cool Asian crafts and of course, delicious Asian food. The festival will offer all sorts of neat activities for all ages as well as various forms of entertainment featuring music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, traditional Chinese art and crafts and a banging fireworks display over the water.
Possibly the best thing about the entire thing is the event is completely free to attend and absolutely everyone is invited. So come along, treat yourself to some tasty food, enjoy the performances and celebrate the Year of the Ox—it’s gonna be lit so book your free tickets here.
What: Auckland Lantern Festival
Where: Captain Cook and Marsden Wharves,
When: Thursday 4 - Sunday 7 March 2021
Image credit: Gareth Cooke