Sunday, 12 February 2012

Chinese lantern Festival in Christchurch

Christchurch has a big Chinese community. The best way to bring different cultures together is through sharing their customs to create understanding. An ancient festival from China was celebrated yesterday and today. The Chinese lantern festival and it was amazing.
The Lantern Festival began in Han dynasty(A.D. 25 - A.D.220 )There are many legends associated with this festival. One of them being that celestial spirits could be seen in the first full moon of the lunar calendar.To help them find spirits they used torches which gave way to lanterns.
The lantern festival is held on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar and it is at the end of the New Year festivities.
It is also referred to as Chinese valentines day as it was a rare change for boys and girls to come together on this day.
Of course there were dumplings for sale in Hagley park and many other treats and I watched a dragon and lion dance group from Shanghai. The lanterns were just amazing. As after my first shot the battery of the camera went flat, on our walk through the park the next day I made some more photos. All the pictures are only some of the many lanterns. They are of course much more beautiful at night.
Fish by the bridge

Isn't it great to take a punter and just drift alongside the lanterns in the river.

Lantern Festival poem in Tang Dynasty (618A.D—907A.D)  :

The light is brightly, tonight the no-go area is opening.
The horse gallop that stirred up the dust,the moon seemed to follow the people.
The young singing girls look more beautiful, they walk and sing songs.
The capital guards does not work tonight, the drum will not urge the people back home.

A beautiful building 

The hungry Hippo's

Grrrrr isn't he gorgeous

A gracious Chinese lady

Lanterns in trees and between trees, everywhere!
As it is the year of the dragon, there were several dragons. I loved this one.


  1. Hi Marja .. I love the photos you've taken - they show us the festival appearance in great stead. Absolutely love the hippos .. how fun .. delightful to see and to be a part of ..

    Cheers - Hilary

  2. Wat een mooie beelden van het festival. Het zijn echt kunstenaars die de dieren maken. Leuk om het te zien.

  3. Marja we have a huge chinese community in Sydney too.
    Love the photos you have taken, the chinese really know how to create a fun, colourful festival.
    See you soon.
    Much love
    Peggy xxxx

  4. Hello Marja

    How exciting to be able to witness and enjoy this festival of beauty and colour
    Happy St. Valentines Day

    Helen xx

  5. Stunning works of art. The hippos are funny. I'm sure at night this must be even more joyful to see.

  6. What a wonderful event. So much history and all those colours! Fabulous.

  7. Impressive, Marja. good photographic work! And I agree entirely about reaching to the other, but it must be a two-way process. Obviously. :-)

  8. Great photos of some very imaginative and beautiful lanterns and paper figures. It must be quite a sight.

  9. Wow Marja, these are lovely.. So very bright and creative You have captured the mood...
    Love them all... xx Hope you are all ok.. and have had a great weekend.. xx Hugs~Sue xx

  10. I was sorry to miss that. I saw the lanterns in the park as I drove by - but too exhausted to take a proper look. A lesson for me to slow down I think! I like your photos!

  11. My wife and I adopted my daughter from China and one of my regrets is that there are few avenues nearby for us to let her learn her native Chinese culture.

    Great pictures and post!

  12. history about the festival... and those lanterns hanging in the air are awesome..thanks for sharing ;)

  13. I missed the lantern festival in Auckland this year, so really enjoyed visiting yours, through these colourful photos. I especially like the hippos and the dragon.

  14. Hoi Marja,
    Wat fantastisch, deze post. Ik houd van het Chinese uitbundige kleurgebruik en hun creativiteit.
    Wel een totaal andere wereld nu bij jou (zomer) dan bij ons (winter).
    Dank je voor je comment on my skating post. Als je op de foto's klikt krijg je een diaserie en kun je de foto's groter zien: dan zie je ook de stoelen op het ijs en de koek en zopie. Het waren 3 fantastische winterse dagen om mee te maken.
    Fijne dag!

  15. Thank you Marja, for this beautiful post. I have never seen such a beautiful display, even when I lived in Indonesia I didn't see this. I was probably too yound and the last three years I was in a concentrationcamp. So that's why I missed it.

  16. Wow....what a colourful event and so beautiful photos,Marja!Very interesting post.Thank you for sharing!

  17. I love the colours in these pics.


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