Any long-time lurker in Auckland knows summer is book-ended by Coca-Cola Christmas In The Park and The Lantern Festival. We've already had CITP stripped away from us due to Covid, but The Lantern Festival seems to be on track for finishing off summer the right way.
This year's Lantern Festival is being relocated from its old spot at the Auckland Domain to a bright new space on the Auckland waterfront. Captain Cook Wharf will be the latest location for a night of cultural diversity and appreciation, celebrating the Lunar New Year and the Year Of The Ox, 2021.
EDIT 01/03/2021: We're very sad to inform Dish Cult readers that the Auckland Lantern Festival has been cancelled for 2021 following the change in Alert Levels.
Living up to its name, the Lantern Festival will see Captain Cook Wharf lit with hundreds of handmade lanterns, in all shapes and sizes, as well as cultural songs, dances, and performances. Like every year, dozens of food stalls will be in attendance, offering up authentic street food from across Asia.
Marvel at the different dishes across several cuisines and eat your way through the new location.
There's no time to be bored with the number of entertaining stalls including live demonstrations, workshops (kite making, calligraphy, Chinese painting, and Lantern making will all be happening), and interactive pieces.
The festival will end with a fireworks display on the Sunday and a Vector light show lit up across the Harbour Bridge nightly. Don't worry if you're not heading in on the final night, the fireworks will be viewable from plenty of points around Auckland.
Additional to a change of scenery, the festival is also implementing a new way to attend – hoping to combat the popularity of the festival and lighten crowds. You can pre-book your free tickets to this year's Lantern Festival, with the ability to select a time date across the four-day festival, meaning you're guaranteed entry and it's not hectically busy as past years have been.
March 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th are the official dates for the 2021 Lantern Festival, with tickets available now.