Be­gin the Year of the Horse in style

Central Leader - - NEWS -

This Satur­day Jan­uary 18 the Chi­nese com­mu­nity will gather to­gether at Green­lane’s ASB Show­grounds to wel­come in the Year of the Horse and cel­e­brate the Chi­nese New Year in au­then­tic Asian style.

Ev­ery­one is wel­come to at­tend this free event, which runs from 9.30am till 4pm and is ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated not only by the thou­sands of Asian mi­grants who wish to once again ex­pe­ri­ence the fa­mil­iar sights, sounds, smells and pageantry of the tra­di­tional Chi­nese New Year celebrations, but also by many Ki­wis and New Zealand born Chi­nese who love the great in­door and out­door en­ter­tain­ment, the ex­otic Asian food and the wide range of goods and ser­vices on of­fer.

The Auck­land Chi­nese Com­mu­nity Cen­tre has been run­ning the fes­ti­val for more than 20 years and it is now a high­light of Auck­land’s sum­mer events cal­en­dar with an an­nual at­ten­dance of around 20,000.

Some of this high­lights in­clude:

A cul­tural arts troupe from Jilin Prov­ince, China

A unique act by a face chang­ing artist which is rarely per­formed out­side China

A young Kiwi girl per­form­ing feet jug­gling acts learnt in China

The E-PACS dragon and lion dance group con­sist­ing of four to 15 year olds

Mar­tial arts and tai chi demon­stra­tions

The U-Hee Korean Per­cus­sion Per­form­ing Arts Com­pany

Halls three and four at the Show­grounds will be trans­formed into a lively mar­ket­place – with nearly 200 spe­cial­ist stalls of­fer­ing tra­di­tional

year’s New Year foods, arts and crafts, deer prod­ucts, herbal medicines, toys and videos from the Far East, plus a huge va­ri­ety of other prod­ucts and ser­vices.

There will be an ex­hi­bi­tion of cars from BMW and Mini, demon­stra­tions of Chi­nese cal­lig­ra­phy, brush paint­ing, kite mak­ing and pa­per cut­ting and the chance to win two Cathay Pa­cific re­turn trips to Hong Kong/ China/ Tai­wan.

Se­lected stall­hold­ers will also have lucky wheels and lucky draws with a host of prizes and ANZ Bank will be hold­ing a se­ries of six in­ter­est­ing sem­i­nars.

An­other huge draw­card of the fes­ti­val is the chance to sam­ple ex­otic and tra­di­tional Asian del­i­ca­cies from more than 50 out­door hot food stalls. These del­i­ca­cies come from China and parts of Asia where eth­nic Chi­nese set­tled be­fore em­i­grat­ing to New Zealand. This means you can sam­ple Can­tonese, Shang­hai, Sichuan, Tai­wanese, Viet­namese, Thai, Sin­ga­po­r­ian, Malaysian and Ja­panese flavours, as well as Euro­pean main­stream good­ies for the less ad­ven­tur­ous palate and spe­cial veg­e­tar­ian food.

To quench your thirst there will be a wide range of drinks avail­able in­clud­ing fresh fruit juices, nov­elty ice creams, bub­ble tea drinks and smooth­ies.

At 10am the open­ing cer­e­mony will com­mence with a Mihi Whakatau (wel­come) by Grant Hawke of the Ngati Whatua iwi and the tra­di­tional ‘‘Dot­ting of the Eyes’’ of the twin lions by the Prime Min­is­ter and the Con­sul Gen­eral of the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China in Auck­land on the broad­walk in front of hall three. The two lion dancers will then lead the of­fi­cial party into the hall to the cul­tural con­cert stage for the for­mal speeches and spon­sors’ pre­sen­ta­tions.

This will be fol­lowed by a per­for­mance by the Jilin Per­form­ing Arts Group from the Jilin Prov­ince in North East China that is be­ing brought to New Zealand es­pe­cially for the fes­ti­val cour­tesy of the Rain­bow China Cul­ture and Me­dia Group and the Jilin Prov-

Spe­cial guest: Prime Min­is­ter John Key will be tak­ing part in the tra­di­tional ‘‘Dot­ting of the Eyes’’ of the twin lions along with the Con­sul Gen­eral of the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China in Auck­land.

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