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Auckland Museum announces Lantern Festival Programme

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Ring in The Year of the Monkey this Chinese New Year at Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Lantern Festival programme, on Saturday 20 February and Sunday 21 February.

Illuminating the Museum for Chinese New Year.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

With the Lantern Festival being held on our doorstep at the Domain, we have a full schedule of events for everyone during the day, from hands on activities for kids and their families to a special concert by NZ’s leading piano trio, NZTrio.

Our programme kicks off Saturday February 20 with E-PAC’s Lion Dance, celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Monkey and is followed by a range of activities and performances throughout the day.

"Over the last five years our annual Lantern Festival programme has gone from strength to strength, and with the festival being held right here in the Domain this year will be bigger than ever," said Sally Manuivera, Director of Public Engagement and Capital Projects.

"We relish the opportunity to connect Aucklanders with the Museum's collections through our fun and diverse programme which celebrates Chinese culture and the Chinese community in Auckland," she said.

Two international performing groups are bringing their music and puppetry to the Museum on Saturday afternoon, thanks to the Asia New Zealand Foundation. The Guangdong Music and Folk Art Troupe is a world renowned professional art troupe specialising in composing and performing Guangdong-style music.

The Shanghai Puppet Theatre Company have been bringing Chinese legends to life since 1960, and in New Zealand the visiting Shanghai puppeteers will mark the Year of the Monkey with an excerpt from the well-known story Journey to the West.

Some of the Museum’s collections have been brought out of storage for the occasion, including precious Chinese jade objects, small embroidered textile treasures, and pounamu taonga which will be on display in the auditorium lobby.

Students from the Confucius Institute will be on hand for sessions in Chinese calligraphy, Chinese words and special Chinese New Year greetings over both days.

Over the weekend Auckland based artist Wei Lun Ha will be showcasing traditional calligraphy painting in live demonstrations. And get hands on and make your own lantern in our craft workshop.

And for our finale we are thrilled to announce NZTrio’s performance ‘Spirit of Chimes’, a treasure trove of exotic music from China and New Zealand matched with large scale visual images of historical jade and pounamu artefacts unearthed from the Museum’s collections.

Critically acclaimed as 'a national treasure', NZTrio has been playing to audiences around the world for over a decade. Every NZTrio performance is an intimate, dynamic and engaging ride – sometimes calm and tranquil, sometimes wild and intense.

For the full Lantern Festival programme, and to book tickets to the NZTrio's 'Spirit of Chimes', please visit our event page.

View full programme