After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, the iconic Auckland Lantern Festival roars into the summer calendar from 10-13 February, in celebration of the 2022 Chinese Year of the Tiger and our region’s Chinese community.
The Auckland Lantern Festival is New Zealand’s largest cultural festival and this year more than 100,000 Aucklanders and visitors are expected at the four-day event at the Auckland Showgrounds.
Last held at the Auckland Domain in 2019, this year the Showgrounds will provide the space and facilities for all the traditional Lantern Festival favourites, plus the introduction of new highlights and features.
Auckland Unlimited Director of Arts, Entertainment and Events, Richard Clarke, says Auckland Lantern Festival 2022 is a major event of the region’s summer calendar, making a highly anticipated return after being cancelled two years running.
“The Festival team is buzzing and can’t wait to join the Auckland Chinese community in celebrating the Chinese New Year in spectacular fashion at the Auckland Showgrounds,”
“So much hard work and mahi has gone into the planning and programming of the event – from new lanterns being commissioned to more craft stalls and new features including talks and films, group tours, an audio-described tour of the Lantern Pavilion, and extended weekend hours.”
In addition, a dynamic and content-rich permanent Lantern Festival programme will run at aucklandnz.com/lantern.
The online programme will feature festival videos, Chinese craft and cooking classes, galleries, playlists, and performers, and will be added to and grown as a hub for all to access and enjoy at any time.
Favourites returning in 2022
- The Lantern Pavilions where more than 800 handmade Chinese lanterns will be illuminated and on display. Visitors can follow the indoor lantern trail and enjoy the themed and imaginary settings that tell the stories of the lanterns and Chinese culture.
- Twenty-nine street stalls selling delicious Chinese and Asian food, and 13 stalls featuring beautiful traditional and contemporary crafts and gifts.
- Local artisans will demonstrate traditional Chinese calligraphy, kite making, fan painting, and embroidery, and visitors can solve Chinese riddles.
- A main stage where Auckland’s top NZ-Chinese performers will provide entertainment ranging from Chinese folk, opera and orchestra to modern pop, dance, and martial arts.
- Spectacular fireworks display at 9.30pm on Sunday night.
What’s new in 2022
- New spacious location, within walking distance of Auckland bus and train connections, with plenty of paid parking.
- A specially created, complimentary online programme of content including videos, galleries, craft guides, a festival guide, and playlists.
- Extended weekend opening hours.
- Panels and talks: Ticketed sessions with speakers and panellists from the Asian-NZ creative community.
- Film screenings and creative networking opportunities in collaboration with the Pan Asian Screen Collective.
- An audio-described Lantern Pavilions tour on Friday 11 Feb.
- Group bookings on Friday 11 Feb.
Festival tickets are FREE and are essential for entry. They will help with crowd management and contact tracing.
Tickets can be booked from 9am Monday 24 January at aucklandnz.com/lantern
Demand is expected to be heavy – people should book early and choose their entry time to avoid disappointment.
A valid My Vaccine Pass is also required for everyone attending the event and will be checked at the gate.
The Auckland Lantern Festival is delivered by the region’s economic and cultural agency Auckland Unlimited on behalf of Auckland Council and supported by founding partner Asia New Zealand Foundation.