Celebrating Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is the most important holiday of the Chinese calendar and one of the most ancient events celebrated around the world.

Observed between late January and mid-February, depending on the lunisolar Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year is a vibrant occasion filled with colour, family traditions and hopes for the future.

Each year, one of the 12 animals from the Chinese zodiac is celebrated and, in 2014, it is the turn of the powerful, gracious and adventure-loving horse.

Home to a thriving Chinese community, New Zealand prides itself on observing the diverse cultures of the many groups that inhabit its shores and the celebration of Chinese New Year is no exception.

From the multi-cultural mecca of Auckland’s 'City of Sails', to the creative hub of the capital city in Wellington, there are plenty of Chinese New Year inspired annual events taking place marking this fun and auspicious occasion.


Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day
18 January, 2014
Auckland, New Zealand’s largest and most culturally diverse city plays host to an annual Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day. In 2014 this free event will celebrate the Year of the Horse with a variety of food, sounds and music.

Organised by the Auckland Chinese Community Centre Inc, this event has been running for more than 20 years and has become a must-do in the Auckland summer event calendar.

Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day

Auckland Lantern Festival
13 February to 16 February, 2014
The Auckland Lantern Festival is another magical event celebrating Chinese culture and is one of Auckland’s favourite and most anticipated events.

Now in its 15th year, the Lantern Festival brings Auckland to life as the spectacular illuminations brighten the night sky. Colour, food stalls, music and entertainment all add to the festival atmosphere.

In 2014 the event consists of a lantern-only night - offering spectators the chance to experience the beautifully crafted lanterns in a relaxed setting at Auckland’s Albert Park.

Outdoor movies can be enjoyed at Queens Wharf on the Auckland waterfront. There will be plenty of entertainment, ranging from martial arts, dance and live music. Local and international artists, including Tang Dynasty, the Shanghai Jiangzhou Drum Troupe, Kite artist Guo Hongli and The Butterfly Troupe will also perform.

The family-friendly event finishes off with a spectacular fireworks display from the Auckland Sky Tower, one of New Zealand’s most iconic landmarks.

Auckland Lantern Festival


Chinese New Year Festival
1 February to 2 February, 2014
Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city celebrates Chinese New Year in style with their annual Chinese New Year Festival. Organised by the Asian Events Trust the event has been going strong for 12 years, completing a full animal cycle.

In 2014 the streets of Wellington will come alive with an explosion of colour and culture. Day one of the festival celebrates the tradition of wearing new clothes on the first day of Chinese New Year with a dynamic fashion show, while the festival day itself hosts an Asian market, a street parade and plenty of cultural entertainment.

Chinese New Year Festival


Christchurch Lantern Festival
22 to 23 February, 2014
After wowing festival goers in Auckland the Lantern Festival makes its way to Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand. Christchurch is now one of New Zealand’s most vibrant artistic and cultural hubs and is proud to celebrate Chinese culture.

The Christchurch Lantern Festival is held in the beautiful surroundings of Hagley Park North and offers mouth-watering Asian delights and stunning entertainment from Tang Dynasty, the Shanghai Jiangzhou Drum Troupe, Kite artist Guo Hongli and The Butterfly Troupe.

Christchurch Lantern Festival


Chinese New Year, Dunedin
2 - 4 February, 2014
Dragons, lions, fireworks, fortune cookies, food and plenty of other exciting Chinese New Year inspired activities are set to transform the Dunedin Chinese Garden.

The garden, created in 1998 over a period of 8-years to ensure its authenticity and cultural accuracy - complete with teahouse and shop - is the perfect place to say goodbye to the Snake and hello to the Year of the Horse. There are over 20 events to choose from including a New Year’s dinner, Tai chi and calligraphy classes.

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Date start02.02.2014 07:00
Date end14.02.2014 07:00
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