the 2012 Auckland lantern festival was a beautiful event that ran from friday 3rd February until sunday 5th February. the boy and i were lucky enough to head along on Saturday evening. the festival, now in its 13th year attracted more people than i thought even lived in Auckland. hundreds of beautiful lanterns specially imported from China were on display both on the ground and in the trees and it was such a beautiful night.
with thousands upon thousands of people all squished in together it really felt like we were back in Europe. there was entertainment for all the family, and we managed to catch a few groups dancing on the main stage. one was sort of a cross between martial arts and a circus act, and apparently there was a giant dragon (though we were busy getting ice cream and missed it).
wandering around, or rather inching around – we heard many painful sounds emitting from the karaoke stage and about twice as many laughs! we must have done more than a few laps, and criss-crossed Albert Park in figure 8’s a few times too, over the 2.5 hours we spent there.
the food was amazing! we had some amazing satay sticks and prawns covered in cereal, deep friend and then dipped in sweet chill sauce. once we had ordered and pushed our way back through the throngs to get to a space where we could actually raise our hands to our mouths properly, we were ready for the next order! a combination of deep-friend wontons (also known as money-bags) were combined with steamed wontons covered in a soft brown soy sauce – and they were deeeelish! we finished off the feasting with curry puffs from another stall and the most wonderful sticky friend rice i have had in years – and downed it with the world’s best fresh OJ.
then it was time for the show… as the sun was going down the lanterns really came into their own, as you can see. there were so many variations and while the modern ones tended to be bigger and more colourful, i found myself ooo-ing and aah-ing at the more traditional ones.
last night was the final night and although we did not go, at 10pm we went onto our balcony and watched the spectacular fireworks display that signalled the end of the festival. i am already looking forward to next year!
love dani x