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Record Crowd Expected at Auckland Lantern Festival

( Another record crowd is expected for the Auckland Lantern Festival beginning on Friday February 26 with an official launch attended by the Prime Minister John Key and Auckland Mayor John Banks.

Last year, over 150 thousand people attended the three day event which is officially one of Auckland’s signature cultural events along with others like the Pasifika Festival.

The weather forecast is for showers clearing on Friday and fine clear weather for the entire weekend.

The 11th Auckland Lantern Festival is organised by the Asia New Zealand Foundation in partnership with the Auckland City Council. It takes place in downtown Albert Park from February 26 to 28.

Highlights this year include one of Shanghai’s top music ensembles Moon, Beijing-based Mongolian folk rock group Hanggai, rolling lantern folk dancers from Southern China as well as lantern making masters and other artists.

Each year the Asia New Zealand Foundation commissions new lanterns from our lantern-maker in Zigong in the western Chinese province of Sichuan. These are shipped from Shanghai by sponsor COSCO (New Zealand) Ltd.

The year’s featured lantern will be the new tiger lantern marking the Year of the Tiger in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac.

The Tiger is a sign of courage, revered in the old days as the sign that wards off the three main disasters of a household: fire, thieves and ghosts. People born in the Year of the Tiger are said to natural leaders, intelligent, alert and far sighted.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation also brings in performers from different areas of China with the assistance of Cathay Pacific.

The core sponsor for the Auckland Lantern Festival is HSBC.

For more information, see the main Lantern Festival page.

Media Release 24 February 2010 from John Saunders



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