The Year of the Horse begins on 31 January 2014, and we'll once again be marking the start of the Chinese New Year with our Lantern Festivals in Auckland and Christchurch.
2014 festival dates
You can enjoy colourful lanterns, tasty foods, martial arts demonstrations and performances from local and overseas artists at the festivals, which are being held on the dates below.
- Auckland Lantern Festival: Thursday 13 February to Sunday 16 February. Applications for stalls have now closed, but if you want to volunteer at the festival, visit the ATEED website.
- Chinese Lantern Festival in Christchurch: Saturday 22 February to Sunday 23 February
Featured Chinese artists at the 2014 Lantern Festivals include:
- Tang Dynasty, one of China’s oldest and best-known bands, which is often credited with being the country’s first heavy metal band. Their sound has been described as part progressive rock and artistic metal and part traditional Chinese vocal techniques.
- Shanghai Jiangzhou Drum Troupe, which was set up in 1988 to keep the 5,000-year-old tradition of Chinese drumming alive. The group will perform on ancient war drums as well as modern LED drums.
- Kite artist Guo Hongli, from the Chinese kite capital of Weifang, who will demonstrate the techniques used to create both beautiful and functional kites.
- The Butterfly Troupe, an all-girl band from Hangzhou, Zhejiang, which will perform traditional music from Southern China.
The Year of the Horse
2014 is the Year of the Wood Horse.
Sign of the horse
If you were born in 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990 or 2002, then you are a horse.
People born in these years are hard-working, sociable, energetic, witty and eloquent – which means they have many friends and are often the life of the party. But horses also like their independence, so they can be somewhat selfish at times.
Our Lantern Festivals - background
Want to find out how the Lantern Festival began, or where our lanterns come from? We've put together some information about the origins of the festival, how it relates to the Chinese New Year, and how our Lantern Festivals have developed over time.
- Find out what the Lantern Festival is all about - history and cultural background
- Lantern Festival Quiz - test how much you know about our lanterns (and Chinese culture)
- How the Auckland and Christchurch festivals have developed over time
- How the lanterns are made - slideshow
Social sciences teaching resource
China Here and Now (level 3-4) uses the Lantern Festival as a springboard to cover several social studies achievement objectives.