Travel

Celebrate Chinese New Year in New Zealand

With Chinese New Year once again upon us, families are looking for new ways to spend the holiday with their loved ones.

New Zealand is proving a key destination as it is home to a thriving Chinese community that ensures authentic festivities are abundant during this festive period.

According to Tourism New Zealand, February last year saw 4,288 Singaporeans travelling to the Land of the Long White Cloud - a 17 per cent increase from 2017.

For those celebrating Chinese New Year in New Zealand, here is a list of cool events for you to usher in the Year of the Pig.

AUCKLAND

Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day
Feb 2, ASB Showgrounds

New Zealand's largest and most culturally diverse city plays host to an annual Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day, which is usually timed to kick off celebrations just ahead of the official dates.

Organised by the Auckland Chinese Community Centre, this event has been running for almost 30 years and features over 200 specialist stalls showcasing Chinese delicacies, cuisine, arts and crafts, and performances.

DUNEDIN

Chinese New Year Festival
Feb 5, Dunedin Chinese Garden

The venue is a perfect miniature of a traditional Chinese landscape painting.

Established 10 years ago to celebrate the city's Chinese heritage and sister city relationship with Shanghai, it offers a tranquil oasis in an urban setting.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Dunedin include entertainment in the garden, a dragon parade from the city centre Octagon, followed by dragon and lion dancing, cultural performances, food stalls and a grand finale.

New Networks: Contemporary Chinese Art, showing at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery until April 28, is an ambitious exhibition, showcasing works by leading figures from the contemporary Chinese Art Movement.

Drawn from art collections in both New Zealand and Australia, this is the first time that many of these significant artworks have been shown in this country.

Lantern Festival
Feb 14 to 17, Auckland Domain

The Auckland Lantern Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is another event celebrating Chinese culture.

It is one of Auckland's favourite and most anticipated cultural events with around 200,000 visitors annually.

The Lantern Festival brings the city to life as hundreds of handmade and spectacular illuminations brighten the night sky and the crowds pour into the Auckland Domain.

On a hill overlooking central Auckland, the old trees and expansive lawns of the Domain take on a beautiful nighttime glow with the brilliant colours of more than 800 lanterns on show.

CHRISTCHURCH

Night Noodle Markets
Feb 6 to 17, North Hagley Park

Thepopular Night Noodle Markets will return to Christchurch for an extended 12-night session next month. The Asian pop-up market will transform North Hagley Park into a glorious fusion of Eastern flavours and the colours of Chinese lanterns. The programme includes authentic family-friendly entertainment, cuisine from top-notch international and local vendors and a fully licenced bar.

South Island Lantern Festival
Feb 22 to 24, Avon River Precinct

One of Christchurch's largest and most popular family events, the South Island Lantern Festival takes over the Avon River Precinct, connecting the Avon River with Worcester Boulevard and Cathedral Square and lighting the downtown area with the vibrant colours of the many lanterns.

WELLINGTON

Chinese New Year Festival
Feb 9 and 10, TSB Bank Arena & Auditorium (Shed 6)

New Zealand's capital city celebrates Chinese New Year in style with its annual Chinese New Year Festival.

Organised by the Asian Events Trust, the event has been going strong for 19 years.

This year's celebrations coincide with the landmark exhibition at the national museum Te Papa, Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality (until April 22), and the festival will support it with performing arts, a "Beijing meets Wellington" football game and a spectacular fireworks display.

The main festival day includes an Asian market, a street parade and plenty of cultural entertainment all centred on Wellington's picturesque waterfront.

To celebrate Air New Zealand's new A Better Way To Fly global brand campaign in Singapore, the airline has launched Economy Class fares to Auckland ($988), Christchurch ($1,088) and Queenstown ($1,288). They are available from now to Feb 4 for travel out of Singapore from Feb 23 to April 5, April 30 to June 30 and July 29 to Oct 31.

TOURISM & TRAVEL