Brightly coloured Chinese lanterns will light the Domain at the Auckland Lantern Festival from March 4 – 7, 2021. Celebrating the Chinese New Year welcoming in the Year of the Ox, it’s an event filled with hundreds of handmade Chinese New Year lanterns as well as crafts, performances, and food (plenty of food).
It’s a free family-friendly event with activities and entertainment for everyone. In the past it has drawn nearly 200,000 visitors over the four day weekend, so be sure to check the tips section below for transport suggestions. The first day is lanterns only. Therefore it is best for photographers as well as people who want smaller crowds.
Postponed to March 4-7, 2021
Updates for Auckland Lantern Light Festival 2021
- Entrance to the family-friendly Auckland Lantern festival is free.
- The lantern festival is held on Captain Cook and Marsden Wharves.
- This year there are two daily sessions. Opening times are as follows:
- Thursday, March 4, 2021, from 6.30 pm to 10.30 (to be confirmed)
- Friday, March 5 through Sunday, March 7 there will be food stalls available from 11.30 am to 3.30 pm and again from 5 to 10.30 pm.
- Check here for information on event parking options including two hours free parking or a $5 evening and weekend rates.
- Public transportation is also a great option.
- Primary event sponsors are ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development), Harcourts, and ASB.
Photo highlights of prior year’s Auckland Lantern Light Festival
Food stalls at the event (based on our prior year’s experience)
- There will be about 100 food and craft stalls on Friday to Sunday. So arrive feeling hungry.
- Most only take cash, although there were ASB ATM machines near the food stalls last year. On Friday night, the queue to get cash was the longest queue we saw all evening.
- In honour of the Chinese New Year, most of the food stalls offer Asian foods. Pad Thai seemed a popular option, and it was what I selected. There are also smoothies, fresh coconut milk, and plenty of sweets including deep-fried ice cream or ice cream in a fresh pineapple bowl.
Special events at the Auckland Lantern Festival
Some of the special events we have enjoyed at prior year’s lantern festivals include:
- An opening ceremony
- Fireworks finale on the final night
- Musical performances
- Acrobatic performances
- Martial arts arena with demonstrations
- Short films from the NZ Film Commission
- Lion Dance
- Xi’an Shadow Puppets
- Face painting
- DJ sessions beginning at 8 pm
Chinese zodiac: year of the
- Ox (1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033)
- Tiger (1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034)
- Rabbit (1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023, 2035)
- Dragon (1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036)
- Snake (1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025, 2037)
- Horse (1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038)
- Goat (1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039)
- Monkey (1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040)
- Rooster (1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, 2041)
- Dog (1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042)
- Pig (1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031, 2043)
- Rat (1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032)
More prior year’s Auckland Lantern Festival images
Practical information on visiting the Auckland Lantern Festival 2021
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- Bring a camera and check out these tips for taking better night light shots.
- If you are going to drive, try to arrive plenty early and be prepared to walk.
- Use the AT Journey planner to find the best public transportation options from your neighbourhood.
- Another option is to spend the night in Auckland. Click here to check availability at Auckland Hotels
- In past years, Auckland Lantern Festival event maps were distributed by volunteers at the entrances to the festival along any of the primary walking paths into the festival.
- The city loves a good party, and the Chinese Lantern Festival is one of many exciting events in Auckland throughout the year.
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