Auckland Lantern Festival 2021

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

Read about 'Auckland Lantern Festival 2021' on USAVE, the place for all things car rental.

Be entertained and celebrate the arrival of the Chinese Year of the Pig at the Auckland Lantern Festival. Held annually, the festival serves as the grand finale to ongoing Chinese New Year celebrations and is a dazzling display of art, culture and delicious foods all rolled into one fantastic family friendly event.

Regularly attracting upwards of 200,000 people, the Auckland Lantern Festival is perfect for people of all ages and abilities and best of all – entry is free! Enjoy traditional Chinese performances including dance, theatre, puppetry and music along with art and craft stalls, workshops, authentic Chinese cuisine and of course the spectacular fireworks finale.

Chinese Lanterns


Thursday 11th February to Sunday 14 February 2021 (Fireworks start approximately 10.15 pm)

  • Thursday 11 February 6.30pm to 10:30pm (Lantern appreciation night and opening ceremony, no food stalls or rides etc)
  • Friday 12 February 5pm to 10:30pm
  • Saturday 13 February 4pm to 10:30pm
  • Sunday 14 February 4pm to 10:30pm (Fireworks start at approximately 10.15 pm)


Auckland Domain, Domain Drive, Grafton, Auckland 1010

Parking is always very difficult to come by on the night, extensive travel restrictions and road closures will be in place around the Auckland Domain. It is recommended that people park up some distance from the Domain and either walk, bike or bus in.

There will be a secure ‘Bike Valet’ system operating next to the information tents on the night, crowds tend to be their biggest from 6pm onwards. See the Auckland Transport website and plan ahead.

What’s On

Auckland Lantern Festival highlights of 2019…

  • Lantern, Lanterns And More Lanterns! Best viewed at after dark, the handmade Festival lanterns feature everything from the beautiful and the artistic through to simply awe inspiring.
  • Chinese Delicacies. A virtual street full of food stalls selling delicious Asian cuisine, treats and some good old kiwi favourites too. Choose from things like fresh juices, bubble tea, noodles, dumplings, sticky rice, pork buns and dim sum just to name a few.
  • Performers Galore. Stunning traditional and contemporary performances from Chinese dance groups, multiple martial arts disciplines, puppeteers and musicians.
  • Karaoke! Crowd favourites including the public karaoke stage and DJ stage traditionally are also set to feature at the event.
  • Fun For All. Don’t miss the fireworks display at 10.15 pm on Sunday evening! There are also the usual line up of amusement rides for kids, storytelling, craft activities, face painting and much more.

As well as all the usual awe inspiring demonstrations, amazing performances and exciting entertainment there are several international acts including the ancient rock and roll style tunes of the internationally renowned Lao Qiang group.

The popular shadow puppet folk art from the Xi’an Shadow Puppet Theatre performers are always a big hit as well as the renowned Shanghai Showcase which includes saxophonist HUA Jun, guitarist ZHANG Yi and khöömei or throat-singer SONG Baihua.

Don’t miss the amazing displays of strength and athleticism from the Shanghai Xingguang Acrobatic Troop, or the Cultural Courtyard artisans and their dough figurines, melted sugar painting, calligraphy and traditional fortune-telling demonstrations.

Chinese Lantern Celebrations

What You Need To know

  • Thursday is “Lantern Appreciation Night”, food stalls will not be operating and there will be a minimal performance aspect to the night. This is the perfect night for those who wish to avoid the crowds and just want to see the lanterns or those with limited mobility.
  • Food and entertainment is from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th February. All arts, crafts, food, performances and other entertainment aspects will be in full swing over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
  • Extra late night trains will be running during the Festival, which is only 500 metres from the Grafton Train Station.
  • The Auckland Domain is approximately a 30 minute walk from the city centre.
  • Even though the festival features nearly 100 food stalls they get extremely busy, grab something early if you can and beat the cues.
  • Bring some cash with you, some stalls may not accept eftpos (There is an ASB ATM machine on site if you forget).
  • The Auckland Lantern Festival is a smoke free area, no cigarettes, vapes or pipes are permitted.
  • The festival is an alcohol-free zone, intoxicated people may be asked to leave.

More Festivals In Auckland For 2021

Have you got the festival bug after visiting the Auckland Lantern Festival? Want to know what other great festivals are on in Auckland this year? Take a look below.

Auckland Arts Festival. Held in March, spanning 19 days the globally recognised arts extravaganza encompasses cabaret, theatre, music, visual arts and various aspects of dance in a celebration of both New Zealand and international culture and diversity.

Pasifika Festival Auckland. Held in March, enjoy performances and market style stalls from eleven Pacific Island nations showcasing delicious food, traditional arts and crafts and cultural diversity.

NZ International Comedy Festival. Held across April and May, laugh out loud as local and international comedians take to the stage. Enjoy a variety of stand-up comedy, sketches, improv and comedic-theatre as well as musical comedy.

Auckland Writers Festival. Held in May. Take the opportunity to meet with writers, booksellers, publishers and celebrate the book world at its best. Enjoy six fun filled days of readings, debates, poetry, and literary theatre over a mixture of free events.

New Zealand International Film Festival. Held across July and August, festival goers can catch a New Zealand film premier or international film from North America, Australia or Europe. A national event, the NZ International Film Festival is held across various venues throughout the country.

Auckland Diwali Festival. Held in October each year, celebrate Diwali with food, entertainment, dancing and crafts. An ancient Indian festival celebrating Indian communities and culture, Diwali is a two day festival with dance, storytelling, workshops, amusement rides, music and theatre performances.

Taste of Auckland. Held in November and hailed as New Zealand’s most glamorous food festival, visitors can sample the signature dishes from Auckland’s finest restaurants, learn their culinary secrets and soak up the foodie festival atmosphere.

Xin Nian Kuai Le! USAVE Car Rental Wishes you a Happy Chinese New Year. For full program details and a handy festival map see the Auckland Lantern Festival website.


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