The city’s youth are seeing Chinese culture firsthand from world-class Chinese performers in town for this weekend’s Christchurch Lantern Festival.
The performers will visit several Christchurch schools as part of a programme put together by the Asia New Zealand Foundation, a founding partner of the event and sponsor working with ChristchurchNZ on the 2018 event.
“We want young New Zealanders to increase their knowledge and understanding of Asian culture, in this case Chinese culture, because it will give them a real advantage in the future,” Asia New Zealand Foundation Educators Network Manager Sean O’Connor says.
“New Zealand’s present and future – economically, culturally and socially – are tied with Asia. All indicators show that connection will be even more pronounced in the future. We need to equip our young New Zealanders so they can thrive in that future, and activities like the schools programme help us achieve that.”
The performers are visiting the schools ahead of the festival being held on Saturday 10 March and Sunday 11 March, from 6pm-10pm. The lanterns will light up the Ōtākaro Avon River Precinct – connecting with the Avon River, Worcester Boulevard and Cathedral Square.
“It really is a spectacular celebration of cultural connectivity and social cohesion in the heart of our new city. The lanterns are magical and the entertainment and food onsite make this a great night out for everyone,”ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Attraction - Linda Falwasser
ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Attraction Linda Falwasser said the calibre of entertainers brought in from China each year for the festival, as well as those based locally that will be performing, was always high – and this year was no exception.
“We’ve got everything – from Chinese shadow puppetry, acrobats and traditional Chinese dance and music through to martial arts demonstrations and traditional Chinese crafts such as sugar painting and dough figurine making on show.
“It really is a spectacular celebration of cultural connectivity and social cohesion in the heart of our new city. The lanterns are magical and the entertainment and food onsite make this a great night out for everyone,” she said.
Two stages will be set up for performances – one located in Cathedral Square while the other will be positioned beside the Avon River on Durham Street and opposite The Terrace. Some entertainers will perform at various sites throughout the festival.
Major roadworks are happening in the Central City at present, so festival goers are encouraged to plan ahead and allow extra time to get to and from the event. They should consider cycling, walking, taking public transport or carpooling. There will also be $6 car parking available.
Other major partners working with ChristchurchNZ to put on this year’s Lantern Festival include Christchurch City Council, Bank of China, Novo Advertising and Christchurch International Airport.
Please let Amanda Legge, ChristchurchNZ Senior Communications Advisor, know if you would like to attend at firstname.lastname@example.org or 022 109 1121.
Thursday 8 March
Linwood College, 10am
Shirley Boys’ High School (Hosting Banks Ave School and Shirley Intermediate), 1.30pm
Friday 9 March
Mairehau High School, 11.20am
Notes to editors:
The Christchurch Lantern Festival is part of the wider Lantern Christchurch banner, which includes other events such as the South Island Lantern Business Forum and workshops, and a student welcome event.
These additional events have been established by ChristchurchNZ, the city’s economic development and promotions agency, working alongside many key partners.
Lantern Christchurch aims to build on the success of the Christchurch Lantern Festival by looking at other ways the city can develop economic, business, trade and visitor opportunities with China.
For more information or to attend a photo opportunity, please contact:
Senior Communications Adviser