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Chinese New Year in New Zealand

Illuminated dragon lantern during Chinese New Year in NZ

Chinese New Year is one of the biggest events in New Zealand. It's partly a reflection of a growing cosmopolitan population, but the Chinese-New Zealand community has long been an important part of New Zealand. Celebrated between late January and mid-February, depending on the Chinese calendar, the Lunar Year also referred to as Chinese Spring Festival, is a colourful occasion filled with  family traditions, good food, luck and hopes for the future.  At VroomVroomVroom, we have prepared a list of some of the best Lunar New Year celebrations, so relax and don't miss the occasion. 

Where to celebrate the Lunar Year in New Zealand

Auckland

Chinese people performing a lion dance in NZ

In Auckland, the Chinese Community Centre, Inc. has been organising an annual Chinese New Year celebration for almost  30 years. The vibrant event has rapidly grown in popularity, and has now become a main feature in the Auckland summer events calendar, attracting more than 30,000 tourists each year. 

The Auckland Lantern Festival is another enchanting event that celebrates Chinese culture. It is now deemed as one of the city's most favourite events. Other highlights include a street full of food stalls, music and dance performances, lantern making demonstrations, martial arts and cultural workshops, with a spectacular fireworks display. 
   
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Dunedin

Enjoy the Dunedin Chinese New Year with a special event usually held in the city's Chinese Garden. The festivity features a dragon parade from the Octagon in the city centre to the garden, with dragon and lion dances, cultural performances, food stalls and a breathtaking  fireworks display. The Chinese Garden in Dunedin, which was opened in 2008, celebrates the city's sisterhood with Shanghai, and aims to honour the first Chinese settlers of Otago. 

Wellington

Fireworks display in Wellington for Chinese New Year

Planning to be in New Zealand's capital city for Chinese (or Lunar) New Year? Celebrate Wellington Chinese New Year in style with their annual Chinese New Year Festival celebrations. Organised by the Asian Events Trust, the event has been going strong for over 12 years, completing a full animal cycle. Wellington hosts a series of events, including a Festival Day, street parade and plenty of cultural entertainment, a special football game and a spectacular firework displays.

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Christchurch

Tourists and locals flock to see pandas, dragons, lions and several traditional Chinese dancers presented by amazing local performers. The Lantern Festival has also been such a success that it is also celebrated in Christchurch. Friends and family gather to get a taste of Chinese culture with beautiful coloured lanterns, as well as  some amazing on-stage performances.

Canterbury

Only three hours' drive from Christchurch via rental car, experience Chinese New Year under the stars at Lake Tekapo, in the South Island, with Earth and Sky hosting tours. as well as the the small privately run Geraldine Observatory accepting star gazing bookings. It is believed that Jupiter shines bright during the Chinese New Year and is a very auspicious planet for the Chinese. 

If you decide to celebrate Chinese New Year in Australia, you may want to check out our cool list for fun and several things you can do to join the vibrant festivities.

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