The Chinese community comes out in force to support the Auckland Lantern Festival. This is the first year it’s been held in Auckland Domain and it made a huge difference from Albert Park, the venue in previous years. At Albert Park it was a seething throng of people and the claustrophobic wouldn’t have coped, but at the Domain there’s plenty more space. It didn’t stop it being absolutely packed, though.

What I didn’t know about Auckland Domain is that there’s a tree dedicated to John Denver, but more about that in another post. We arrived there early because there’s a nice sculpture walk and we wanted food before the masses arrived.

My two heads
My two heads

Unfortunately the masses had already arrived and were all queuing for food

Before the sun went down there was other entertainment to view such as some historic stories played out with weapons.

A bit of weaponry adds some danger to the proceedings
A bit of weaponry adds some danger to the proceedings

Plus, there were dragon dancers, an opera singer, fried food, a bouncy castle and one of those inflatable flailing arms thingies – everything you need to attract 50,000 people!

Ancient Chinese pizza box
Ancient Chinese pizza box
Dragon boat lantern. Someone drew the short oar
Dragon boat lantern. Someone drew the short oar

The lanterns were arranged in a multitude of scenes including polar bears, farms, eating dinner, riding horses and playing games.

Sitting at the table, playing go
Sitting at the table, playing go

Hundreds of lanterns hung from the trees

Sun lanterns
Sun lanterns

And some even mimicked the ocean

Couldn't see a lanternfish in this scene
Couldn’t see a lanternfish in this scene

Even in the daylight when we got there, the lanterns were beautiful

Lanterns in the tree
Lanterns in the tree

And some optical illusions

That's why my hair is thinning
That’s why my hair is thinning

But it’s all about the year of the monkey.

Year of the monkey lantern
Year of the monkey lantern

Lantern Festival Overview

This year at the Auckland Lantern Festival was much better than 2015. The extra space really made a difference and allowed much more space around the lanterns for you to see them up close without hoards of people being in the way.

dragon lantern detail

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