Lantern Festivals

Each year, the Asia New Zealand Foundation holds Lantern Festivals in Auckland and Christchurch to celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year.

The festivals feature tasty food, martial arts demonstrations, performances from local and overseas artists and - best of all - lots of beautiful lanterns!

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.

2014 festivals

Auckland Lantern Festival

If you missed this year's festival in Auckland, you can see highlights here:

Chinese Lantern Festival in Christchurch

Sunday evening's festival was cancelled due to bad weather but you we have pictures from Saturday:

International acts

Featured Chinese artists at the 2014 Lantern Festivals were:

  • Tang Dynasty - one of China’s oldest and best-known bands, is often credited with being the country’s first heavy metal band
  • Shanghai Jiangzhou Drum Troupe, who keep the 5,000-year-old tradition of Chinese drumming alive
  • Kite artist Guo Hongli from the Chinese kite capital of Weifang
  • The Butterfly Troupe - an all-girl band performing traditional music from Southern China.

Year of the Horse lantern screen representing a work by Xu Beihong

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.

2014 Sponsors

ASB, Lotto New Zealand, Tip Top, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Chinese Ministry of Culture, Cathay Pacific, Cosco, Barfoot and Thompson, China Travel Service, New Zealand Chinese Herald

Christchurch City Council, Christchurch Casino, Infinity Foundation, ZM, Lion Foundation, Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust, Orion New Zealand, Southern Trust, Whale Watch, Trust Aoraki, Canterbury Community Trust, Meadow Mushrooms, Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Trust, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Cathay Pacific, The George Hotel, Pub Charity, Chinese Ministry of Culture, Mainland Foundation, Cosco

Related pages

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.

Last updated: 21 May 2014