Festive February: Auckland decks up for Lunar New Year extravaganza
Auckland is about to set the city ablaze with a 15-day Lunar New Year extravaganza, giving a modern twist to the ancient tradition of opening with the new moon and closing under the full moon.
Brace yourself for a street party, pride festivities, panel discussions, restaurant specials, and a karaoke competition – because why not throw in some musical fireworks?
Get ready to soak in the vibrant colors, sounds, tastes, and beats of Asia, along with the ever-present Lucky Cat–now a symbol of good fortune across the continent–as Auckland Council has put together a delectable feast.
Picture five colossal Lucky Cats illuminating Darby Street in red neon light, signaling the start of festivities on February 8. Then, prepare for the Lunar New Year rollercoaster, starting with the inaugural Lunar New Year Festival at Auckland Art Gallery's forecourt on February 10, building up with a Midtown Street Party on Lorne Street on February 14, and reaching its grand finale in Aotea Square on February 25.
According to Auckland Council Lunar New Year Festival Director Eric Ngan, the young pan-Asian population in Auckland is proudly redefining what it means to be Asian Kiwi – embracing their roots, loving the city, and adding a creative spin to their traditions.
“We want this festival to celebrate traditional culture, and also to embrace our unique diaspora of Asian Kiwis who celebrate Lunar New Year,” Ngan says.
“We have Kiwis living here who can trace their heritage from many Asian countries including China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines.”
Lunar New Year Lanterns
When: Wednesday February 7-25
Where: Queen Street and surrounds
More than 100 larger than life lanterns will adorn Queen Street and surrounds for Lunar New Year. The rich red decorations are an auspicious Chinese symbol of wealth and prosperity. Brought to you by Heart of the City.
Lucky Cat Neon Lights
When: February 8-25
Where: Darby Street city centre
Enjoy double happiness during Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day, with the city centre installation of huge red neon Lucky Cats! Pose with these adorable feline friends and flick your finger hearts for love and good fortune.
Lunar New Year Festival
When: February 10
Where: Forecourt, North Atrium, East Terrace, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Get amazed by the acrobatic performances of the Tung Tek lion dancers and the beautiful costumes and shows by Love Dance Troupe. Participate in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, taste mooncakes and discover the art of making dumplings with Sumthin Dumplin.
Lunar New Year In The Square
When: February 25, 10am-7pm
Where: Aotea Square, city centre
Bring your family and be immersed in the vibrant pulse of pan-Asian communities as they come alive to celebrate new beginnings at Lunar New Year in the Square. Experience the electrifying energy of street dance crews going toe-to-toe in an epic battle. Let your taste buds dance too, as you indulge in mouthwatering delights from a selection of food trucks. Get hands-on at craft workshops that promise to unleash your creative spirit.