Auckland City Council has described this weekend’s Auckland Lantern Festival as a “glowing finale” to the Chinese New Year. Clearly, there have been some cutbacks in the Council’s Pun Dept.
Tragic entendre’s aside, the Lantern Festival’s always a stunner. For one weekend Albert Park is diligently swept clean of hobos and replaced with the soft hue of hundreds of lanterns, artist’s stalls, and if we’re lucky, an ill-placed but hilarious karaoke booth.
This year you can make your own lantern under the tutelage of award-winning lantern-maker Wang Chen-Wen and his equally award-winning wife, paper artist Tung Pi-E. You should also stick around for a khoomei, or Mongolian throat-singing, courtesy of the internationally acclaimed Hanggai folk band.
2010 is the Year of the Tiger, so expect a lot of those. Tigers represent courage; as animals they are said to ward off the three main disasters of a household; fire, thieves and ghosts. It’s genuinely helpful to know that Tigers are above ghosts on the food chain.
The Lantern Festival 25-28 February at Albert Park, Auckland. 5pm-10.30pm daily.
– Luke Oram