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Cantabrians celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Monkey

Submitted by on February 22, 2016 – 4:00 am

image005Monkeying around at Christchurch Lantern Festival – Christchurch City Council

Hundreds of vibrantly coloured lanterns will light up North Hagley Park to celebrate the Year of the Monkey at next weekend’s Christchurch Lantern Festival.

Festival-goers can experience Chinese culture during the free event from 5pm – 10.30pm on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February in North Hagley Park.

There will be Asian food stalls, fireworks and non-stop local and international entertainment, including master puppeteers from Shanghai and the famous Second Hand Rose rock band from Beijing.

The lanterns have been specially made for New Zealand in the Chinese province of Sichuan and include animals, scenes showing life in China and Chinese symbols of good luck.

Christchurch City Council Head of Events Richard Attwood says the festival is highly anticipated by the city and it pays for people to plan ahead.

“The Christchurch Lantern Festival is one of our most popular festivals. I encourage people to come along with friends and family to enjoy the lively atmosphere,” says Mr Attwood.

“Visitors should plan their travel and parking arrangements in advance and use public transport or carpool where they can to avoid delays.’’

Asia New Zealand Foundation director of culture, Jennifer King says the Foundation is excited to be able to return the festival to Christchurch this year.

“This festival gives Cantabrians the chance to experience the diverse sights, sounds and tastes of China. It also celebrates the city’s diverse Chinese population – from people descended from some of New Zealand’s earliest settlers, through to more recent migrants,” says Ms King.

The Christchurch Lantern Festival marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations, which began on 8 February.

The festival is brought to the city by Christchurch City Council and Asia New Zealand Foundation.

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