Begin the Year of the Horse in style
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.