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2017 Chinese New Year Celebrations in Auckland
Chinese New Year is a well-recognised event in the Kiwi calendar and marks the start of a brand new lunar calendar year. This year on January 28 the year of the monkey will change over to the fire rooster. On 21 January, two significant events saw the beginning of a series of 2017 Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration activities.
At the ASB Showgrounds, more than 30,000 Aucklanders gathered together to celebrate this event. Attendees reflected the super diversity of Auckland city with members from the Chinese New Zealander community as well as those from a range of different backgrounds who had gathered together for a packed day of festivities.
For the past 30 years, The Auckland Chinese Community Centre has organised this annual Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day event - one that has continued to enrich the cultural diversity in Auckland and is attended by the Prime Minister and his parliamentary colleagues.
This year, Prime Minister Bill English opened the Chinese New Year Festival at ASB Showgrounds through the ceremony of “dotting” the dragon’s eye. The event also saw Judith Collins in attendance in her role as Minister for Ethnic Communities. The speech given by the Prime Minister and other officials also acknowledged the ongoing contributions that the Chinese community have made to NZ for more than a century and the strength of current ties with China.
There were close to 200 stalls displaying a range of goods including traditional Chinese dress, calligraphy and trinkets. A group from Liaoning, China, was brought in especially to perform at the event displaying beautiful acrobatic feats. The formal part of the event also showcased a stunning line-up of vibrant cultural performers.
In the evening of the same day, World TV organised its annual Lunch New Year Celebration in South Auckland. The lion dance led VIPs (including Prime Minister Bill English, Hon Judith Collins Minister for Ethnic Communities, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, and Consul General of China for Auckland, Xu Erwen) as well as community representatives into the theatre hall at the Vodafone Event Centre. After the dynamic theatrical performance, the celebration ended with spectacular fireworks illuminating the night sky.
The evening also provided the opportunity for local Chinese and South East Asian communities to celebrate the Lunar New Year together. Founded in June 2000 World TV Group delivers locally-produced news and public affairs programmes to create a bridge between ‘New Zealand mainstream society and Asian communities’.