|Auckland's 18th annual Chinese Lantern Festival featured elaborate "lanterns!" The festival marks |
the close of Chinese New Year celebrations. Auckland, New Zealand, February 12, 2017.
|"Fierce" armored warrior at Auckland's Chinese Lantern Festival|
was happy to mug for the camera. Auckland, New Zealand.
*We applied for quickie, cheap Australian VISA online with few requirements except leaving the country every 90 days or less to reset our VISA. It’s good for at least a year that way.
“The Lantern Festival traditionally marks the end of Chinese New Year festivities and is celebrated on the 15th day of the first Chinese lunar month,” reported the New Zealand Herald.
Best of all, the festival was free, and only a 15 minute walk from the Parnell neighborhood AirBnB where we were staying.
|One of the many types of fanciful tree-hanging|
lanterns at Auckland's Chinese Lantern Festival.
|This parade dragon hoofed by in a hurry, along with his 3 undulating compatriots. Auckland's Chinese Lantern Festival, New Zealand.|
|The dragon's accompanying parade band moved at a bit more leisurely pace in their matching dragon leggings.|
|This large fabric lantern diorama depicted daily life in traditional China, here the games are afoot whilst a man holds his birds. Auckland, New Zealand's Chinese Lantern Festival.|
|There's also an emphasis on study....|
|But still time for romance.|
|This handsome fella would get my attention if|
I came across him on a lamp post at night!
We arrived at dusk, to wander the show for a few hours and stay through to the firework finale.
The people watching was even better than the lanterns. While maintaining more of a “mixed salad” than a melting pot, there’s no denying Auckland’s multiculturalism. Festival-goers included tiny tots (including some in traditional Chinese costumes), women wearing hijabs for modesty, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hijab&action=history (but not veiled), Maoris, resplendent in their tattoos, Indians in their westernized attire, and as many Chinese as Caucasians.
|Some displays were the stuff of legends, like this one, about discovering gold treasure. Auckland, Chinese Lantern Festival.|
|Buddha and swans on a more serious yet beautiful note. Auckland Chinese Lantern Festival.|
|The music played by this accomplished young girl on a harp on its side enchanted us.|
Eventually, there will be a video clip of her performance.
Did the wetness dampen the fireworks? We’ll never know. We still enjoyed 10 minutes of oohs and aaahs of pyrotechnics, complete with whistles, bursts and bangs.
Given the conditions, I was unable to get any fireworks photos (even with my water camera), and apparently was not alone. A Google Images search for this year’s festival fireworks drew a big goose egg.
|These theropods were one of many Disney-fied displays at Auckland's Chinese Lantern Festival.|
|Mixing the two arctics... with polar bears and penguins. Auckland Chinese Lantern Festival.|
It pleased us the next day on our late afternoon stroll through to still see some lanterns still about, though 99% of the festivities are all packed away and cleaned up.
All in all, after getting deluged in 2016’s New Year, it seemed fitting to celebrate two New Years this year, Sydney Harbour’s famed fireworks and Auckland’s Chinese New Year.
We have no idea where in the world we’ll be for New Year’s next year.
|You can't possibly have too many dragons at a Chinese festival! Auckland Chinese Lantern Festival.|
Journey, our almost totally sold sailboat, is still in the Sydney area. Our new nomadic home, a van, is in Melbourne's airport parking lot. We are in Auckland, returning to Melbourne tonight.
|Could there possibly be a better symbol for a cultural festival than a friendship bridge?|
Here 'tis, at Auckland's Chinese Lantern Festival.
We've decided to sell our van camper-conversion for a 4-wheel drive that will do a better job of taking us where we want to go. That will be our first priority when we return to Australia. Sigh... and more downsizing....www.GalleyWenchTales.com will continue to feature our open road travels as well as catching up on some open ocean posts.
|The last of the lanterns, still lingering amongst the glorious trees, the afternoon after Auckland's Chinese Lantern Festival.|