Couples, families and friends across East Asia come together every year for the annual Moon Festival, a chance to spend time with the ones you love to watch the full moon, eat moon cakes and recite moon poems. A celebration of culture, art, food, music, community and nature, the Moon Festival brings people together.
Get ready Christchurch, a new festival is coming to town in 2020!
ChristchurchNZ are pleased to announce the inaugural South Island Moon Festival, coming to the city in October 2020.
The festival will build off the huge success of the South Island Lantern Festival, instead being held at a time of year where it can flourish into its full potential as a celebration of our links to China and East Asia.
The new event will also be an anchor event for ‘BLOOM’ – the new city brand which showcases Christchurch’s spring events and attractions.
Joanna Norris, ChristchurchNZ CEO, said the festival concept was created alongside the local Chinese community, aimed at creating an immersive event for locals and boosting international visitor numbers to Christchurch during the spring shoulder season.
“In previous years, the lantern festival in Christchurch came after Auckland celebrations, and in the middle of a packed schedule of city-wide summer events,” Norris said.
“Its appeal to international visitors was also diminished due to celebrations across Asia. The popularity of the annual South Island Lantern Festival demonstrated the huge potential to create an even bigger cultural event in Christchurch, which will also appeal to an international audience.”
Wendy Zhang, President of the Christchurch Zhonghua Chinese Society, said the new event would mean Christchurch can “feel our cultural charm” while attracting people to celebrate the city during spring.
“The South Island Moon Festival is an exciting step forward in Christchurch’s embrace of our Chinese community,” Zhang said.
“It will help promote economic development and cooperation between China and New Zealand, and strengthen the friendship between our two countries.”
ChristchurchNZ would also be working with the Asia New Zealand Foundation to ensure the festival was a success.
Moon festivals, traditionally celebrated in China and much of East Asia, represent an opportunity to bring families and communities together to celebrate the harvest and the full moon – a symbol of harmony and unity.
Lanterns are lit and the streets are filled with dance, music, and the arts, while people feast on traditional moon cakes.
“The South Island Moon Festival 2020 will be our opportunity to really showcase the city to locals and visitors alike. We want to create a festival that is unique to Christchurch, and is a drawcard event for the city.ChristchurchNZ CEO Joanna Norris
“The South Island Moon Festival 2020 will be our opportunity to really showcase the city to locals and visitors alike. We want to create a festival that is unique to Christchurch, and is a drawcard event for the city,” Norris said.
Plans were still in place to celebrate the 2020 Chinese New Year with lanterns set to return to various central city locations.
ChristchurchNZ will seek a delivery partner to work alongside Chinese community groups to ensure the very first South Island Moon Festival 2020 fulfils its great potential.