Chinese New Year celebrated at Te Puia
Red lanterns adorn Te Puia’s entrance in celebration of the Chinese and Korean Spring Festival, also known as the Chinese New Year, which runs from 28 January to 11 February.
Chinese and Korean people all over the world are celebrating the Spring Festival, with half a billion Chinese estimated to travel, either at home or overseas, during the two-week holiday period, resulting in the largest seasonal human migration in the world.
Tourism officials are expecting about 30,000 to come to New Zealand.
This year is the “Year of the Rooster”, according to the Chinese lunar calendar, including those born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993 and 2005. The next Year of the Rooster will be in 2029.
Te Puia Asian sales director, Serene Leong, says the widely-held belief is that people of this zodiac sign are loyal, resourceful, courageous, talented, extremely punctual and confident.
“Te Puia is recognising the Chinese and Korean New Year with signs and red lanterns at our front entrance.”
Lanterns mark the Lantern Festival which is celebrated on the 15th day of the first Chinese lunar month, and traditionally ends the Chinese New Year period. This year, the Lantern Festival falls on 11 February.
“The lanterns are red as Chinese and Korean consider it a lucky colour. Red is believed to drive off malicious spirits and carry favourable luck, satisfaction, fortune and a long life.”
Among the diverse range of Lantern Festival customs are enjoying the lanterns by watching them light up and guessing the riddles that decorate them, eating tangyuan (ball-shaped dumplings), and lion dances.
Say “Happy New Year” in:
Mandarin: “Gong Xi Fa Cai” or “Xin Nian Kuai Le” for visitors from Northern China and Taiwan
Cantonese: “Kung Hei Fatt Choy” for visitors from Southern China/Hong Kong and South East Asia
Korean: “Sehae Bok Manee Pady Seyo”