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NEWS RELEASE: 21 November 2013

Horsing Around - A New Beginning for the Chinese New Year Festival
2014 marks the start of the new cycle in the Chinese zodiac for the Chinese New Year Festival, and with new beginnings comes dramatic changes.

The first Chinese New Year Festival emerged 13 years ago, celebrating the Year of the Horse. Having completed the 12 animal Chinese zodiac cycle, the festival is back to celebrating our galloping animal friends and with some dramatic changes next year.

Wellington’s waterfront, TSB Bank Arena and Frank Kitts Park has been the home for the Festival since 2003, but for 2014, the festival is moving around the corner. The Michael Fowler Centre will be the new home of the Chinese New Year Festival and its events next February.

“Fans of the festival are not to worry about the severity of the new changes, as it will proceed as per usual with their aromatic and delicious food stalls, spectacular entertainment, and parade through the Capital’s streets,” says Programme Director, Linda Lim.

The festival will be held over the weekend of 1-2 February 2014 and will  include its iconic events such as the ‘New Clothes for the New Year’ fashion show, Asian Market, Festival Day, and Street Parade.

“We are also thrilled to have the beauty of China’s puppetry arts from Xiamen as our headline act for Festival Day. The dramatic performance of 30 centimetres tall puppets is a uniquely-styled puppet opera requiring high levels of skill and will be enjoyed by young and old,” says Lim.

In keeping with the theme of the Year of the Horse, in 2014 the Chinese New Year Festival is working with the Wellington Racing Club. The festival is collaborating with the Interislander Summer Festival at Trentham on Monday 20 January 2014, with a Family Fun day that will feature a special ‘Year of the Horse’ activity.

“This is an exciting new initiative for next year and demonstrates further growth of the Festival to wider audiences,” says Lim.

Asian Events Trust will start the 2014 Festival off with a bang, with a launch event on Thursday 28 November 2013. The event will be hosted by Wellington’s Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown at the Harbourview Lounge at the festivals new venue of the Michael Fowler Centre.  The launch will be attended by councillors, funders, sponsors and members of the Chinese community.

“The MFC will be overrun with horses as guests will be welcomed by costumed dancers from the Deirdre Tarrant Dance Studio in life sized horse heads,” says Lim.

Local Chinese brush painter and calligrapher, Stan Chan will also paint a picture of a horse which will be gifted to the Mayor to acknowledge the coinciding of the beginning of a new cycle of Asian Event Trust’s organisation of the Festival with the beginning of Celia’s second term as Mayor of Wellington.

Details of the full programme will be available on a new website developed by Fresco this year which will go live on 1 December.

For further information please contact:

Linda Lim - Programme Director – Chinese New Year Festival
Asian Events Trust
Phone: +64 27 4324269


Horsing Around - A New Beginning for the Chinese New Year Festival

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