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The Lantern Festival – Feb 18-21

The 17th annual Auckland Lantern Festival takes place in its new location of Auckland Domain from today to Sunday February 21. 

Image Williams Photography

The Auckland War Memorial Museum will be illuminated in red for the Chinese New Year 

The Auckland Lantern Festival is back for the 17th year running, again featuring more than 800 lanterns installed in Auckland’s oldest park and a new location this year – Auckland Domain. The festival features music, dance, acrobatics, magic and puppetry performances, martial arts demonstrations, food and craft stalls, and a fireworks finale on site at the Domain – which wraps up close to a month’s worth of celebrations celebrating the Chinese New Year – the year of the Monkey. 

Thursday, today, is the festival’s ‘lantern-only night’, when all the lanterns are lit for viewing, without performances or stalls operating. It runs from 7pm – 10.30pm.

The full festival programme, with roaming and main stage performances as well as food and craft stalls, runs from 5pm – 10.30pm Friday – Sunday, culminating in a fireworks finale on site at 10.15pm. You can download the full programme here

Each year organisers of the festival are looking to improve the sustainable and environmental policies of the festival. Stallholders ensure their packaging products are biodegradable and that recyclable and compostable waste is separated from landfill rubbish. Recycling stations will also be well signposted and set up at the domain.

There are a load of performances worth seeing – including the Guangdong Traditional Music Philharmonic – a trio who use traditional Chinese instruments to recreate some of southern China’s best-loved pieces of music. They’ll be playing on the main stage on Friday and Saturday at 6pm, 7pm and 9.20pm, and Sunday at 6pm, 7.45pm and 8.50pm. 

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