This month marks the 20th anniversary of the much-loved Auckland Lantern Festival, New Zealand’s largest cultural festival. The festival will feature over 800 handmade lanterns, 100 food stalls, performances and art and craft displays and demonstrations.
Taking place over four days, from 14-17 February, over 800 handmade lanterns will shine their light in and around the trees and pathways of the Auckland Domain to celebrate the Chinese New Year. From traditional red lanterns to elaborate scenes, the array of colours and intricate paper designs will be a sight to behold.
The festival also features an extensive programme of local and international Chinese acts, more than 100 food stalls, art and craft displays and demonstrations, karaoke, and roaming performers.
Thursday evening is the Lantern Appreciation Evening, when the lanterns are lit for viewing but there are no performances or food, amusements or stalls operating. People attending on this night are encouraged to eat out prior to arrival – Parnell has an excellent selection.
Parnell’s Year of the Pig Exhibition will also be on display, with over 20 exclusive ‘Precious Pigs’ available for viewing in various Parnell galleries, jewellers and select retailers from February 9th through to February 24th. You are invited to download a map here and take yourselves on the ‘Parnell Piggies Walk’ on your way to or from the Lantern Festival.
With up to 200,000 people likely to attend the four-day event, Festival goers are urged to plan their travel to the festival ahead of time, given extensive parking restrictions and road closures will be in place around the Auckland Domain for the festival. Why not take the train to Parnell Station, then the new pathway that connects up to the Domain.
The 2019 Auckland Lantern Festival runs 7pm – 10.30pm on Thursday, 14 February, and 4 – 10.30pm on Friday, 15 to Sunday, 17 February. With Saturday evening historically being the busiest night of the event.