Gong Xi Fa Cai. Happy Chinese New Year and Year of the Pig.
Start off The Year of the Pig at one of the many celebrations across the country. With so many Chinese delicacies to choose from, you'll be excused for wanting to eat like a pig!
Chinese New Year Festival & Market Day: Saturday 2nd February
With more than 20,000 people expected to attend this festival, at the ASB Showgrounds, it's sure to be packed with excitement. The festivities begin with an opening address by New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, supported by a dragon dance welcome. Chow down on some authentic Chinese street food while watching the live entertainment. Highlights include cultural songs, dances, martial arts, tai chi, games and more.
Lantern Festival: Thursday 14th – Sunday 17th February
A myriad of colours from more than 800 lanterns will light up the night sky, at the Auckland Domain. The Lantern Appreciation Evening coincides with Valentine’s Day; the twinkling lights from the handmade lanterns create a romantic atmosphere. Love will be in the air.
From the second night onwards, prepare to be dazzled and entertained. Your eyes and ears will be overwhelmed by the beautiful array of colours and cultural performances. Pair that with your favourite Chinese eats – we’re talking juicy dumplings, soul-nourishing noodle soup and silky egg tarts – and be assured your eyes, ears and stomach will all be pleased.
Wellington Chinese New Year Festival: Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th February
Leave it to the Capital to bring in the Chinese New Year in style. Farewell the year of the Dog on Saturday by attending a Lion Dance performance. Watch on while enjoying a mouth-watering yum cha lunch at participating Festival restaurants. Then at night, expel the evil spirits of the previous year and bring in a new year of luck, and prosperity by attending the fireworks display on the waterfront.
Explore the markets and entertainment at TSB Bank Arena on Sunday. Head next door to Shed 6 if you missed out on your yum cha fix the day before – or if you want more. Expect piping hot dim sim like har gao (prawn dumplings), lo bak go (turnip cake) and char siu bao (pork buns), as well as delicacies from all over Asia.
Over at the arena, the entertainment stage will be buzzing with excitement. Acts include Cantonese Opera singers, martial artists and a special appearance by the Jinan Acrobatic Troupe from Shangdong Province, China. Wellington is known as New Zealand’s cultural capital – and we think this festival is further proof.
Christchurch Night Noodle Markets: Wednesday 7th – Sunday 17th February
Brush up on your chopstick skills – the Night Noodle Markets will return to Christchurch for 12 delicious nights. Picture the bustling atmosphere of a hawker-style market, amongst the beauty of the North Hagley Park woodlands. Stallholders will serve up more than just noodles – though we’re sure the noodles will be 10/10 slurp-able. Tear through a fresh-off-the-grill kebab, spice things up with some Thai cuisine, then cool off with an ice cream. After eating your way through all the stalls, enjoy a walk along the tranquil Avon River track.
Dunedin Chinese New Year Festival: Tuesday 5th February
Like taking a step into a classical Chinese landscape painting, the Dunedin Chinese Garden is a beautiful oasis honouring the city’s Chinese heritage. Follow the crowds from the Octagon for the dragon parade. Then, immerse yourself in the buzz of the cultural entertainment and sizzling-hot food. The garden is an intimate retreat to the natural, ancient world and a magical location for Chinese New Year celebrations.
Chinese New Year, both old and modern day, involves family, food and fun. We wish everybody a happy, healthy and lucky year to come!