When The Captain asked me if I wanted to go the Auckland Lantern Festival, my first thought was ‘really, Lanterns, that sounds kind of boring’…..
…but our friends Bev and Robbie from S/V Mersoleil had raved about it, and they were going, so I decided to attend.
And ignorant me, I learned that Lantern Festivals are a really big deal!
Part of the Chinese New Year celebrations since the Han Dynasty (206 BC-221 AD) …..
…..Lantern Festivals are usually held on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar which marks the end of New Year festivities.
The Lantern Festival is also popularly referred to as the Chinese Valentine’s Day…..
….because in days of old it gave girls and boys a rare chance to go out in the evening without chaperones.”
The Auckland Festival has been running for 16 years and is held in Albert Park.
On the evening we attended, the Park was jam packed with celebrants.
In addition to the extensive display of beautiful lanterns (I have only shared a small percentage of them here)….
…..the Festival offered a multitude of entertainment for all ages…
and some of the yummiest, most affordable food that we have found in New Zealand.
All for the entry price of $0.
So if you are visiting Auckland at the conclusion of the Chinese New Year….
….check out the Lantern Festival.
You will be glad that you did.