Chinese New Year Festival turns 18 in 2018
POSTED: 29 January 2018
A pack of dogs to bring double prosperity to Wellingtonians
Chinese New Year has been celebrated in Asian countries for over 1000 years and have become an important part of Wellington’s cultural events calendar since the inaugural event held in 2001. Wellington is set to explode with a colourful programme to welcome in the Year of the Dog on Saturday 17 February.
Organised by Asian Events Trust, Chinese New Year celebrations in Wellington have evolved over 18 years in Wellington providing opportunities for the Chinese community to celebrate the most important day in their calendar while engaging the wider community with unique events that allow non-Chinese to embrace the Chinese culture.
2018 is the 18th Festival making it a most auspicious year with the number18 holding significant interest to Chinese. The number 18, is considered lucky because the number 1 when it is the position of tens phonetically sounds like ‘definite’, so 18 which is pronounced shí bā ‘means ‘definitely prosperous. As Chinese people believe that ‘good things come in pairs’, in combination with the number 2, 2018 is expected to bring double prosperity.
2018 is the Year of the Dog – the dog is a symbol of loyalty and honesty and regarded as an auspicious animal in the Chinese culture. If a dog happens to come to a house, it symbolises the coming of fortune.
18 dogs will lead Wellington’s Chinese New Year Festival street parade on 17 February to welcome in the Year of the Dog and to mark 18 years of New Year celebrations in Wellington.
The headline act for the Festival programme is a performing arts group from Heilongjiang province in China, who will bring a mix of acrobatics, martial arts and traditional Chinese dance to the stage programme in the Michael Fowler Centre and Festival Day Street Parade. The group also includes craftspeople, who will demonstrate the art of kite making, Chinese opera mask painting and lantern making. For the first time to be seen in New Zealand, a master craftsman from the Hezhe ethnic minority, one of the smallest ethnic minorities in China, will provide demonstrations in the craft of art, clothing and headwear made from fish skin, unique to Heilongjiang province.
Hezhe is one of the smallest ethnic minorities in China. Based in northern China, the Hezhe people rely heavily on fishing for food, clothing and as a commodity for their livelihood. Hezhe people excel at fishing with superb skills and knowledge gained through time-tested experience passed down through the generations. The East Meets West / Taniwha Loong show will also include performances showcasing the culture from this lesser known, ethnic minority from China.
Linda Lim, Programme Director says, ‘The unique visual and performing arts of the Hezhe people will challenge perceptions of Chinese culture highlighting its richness and diversity to audiences.’
‘Asian Events Trust are very proud of the platform created by the Festival for our community to present their work and showcase their talent. Festival goers will not only be wowed by a spectacular programme of performances and shows but see that there is much more to the Chinese culture than lion and dragon dancing!” says Lim.
The 2018 Chinese New Year Festival promises to be another fantastic celebration that will enhance Wellington’s reputation of being the ‘coolest little capital in the world’. Following 12 months of the talkative, outspoken Rooster who thrives on attention, we can look forward to a much more supportive year with Dogs who epitomise honesty and loyalty making them man’s best friend.
‘It’s a huge year for the Festival. As the Trust, we have always prided ourselves on presenting a uniquely kiwi celebration of Chinese New Year in the coolest little capital in the world. No other centre in New Zealand celebrates Chinese New Year the way that we do and 2018 promises to be no different as we bring international, local acts together to present a stunning array of performances,’ says Lim.
For interviews or more information contact:
Linda Lim, Programme Director
Phone – 0274324269, or email email@example.com
For the full festival programme go to www.chinesenewyear.org.nz