Christchurch holds a lantern festival every year at North Hagley Park to mark the end of the Chinese Festival season. This is not to be confused with the actual Chinese Lantern Festival (as we had made the mistake of doing on our first night in Christchurch), which is at an entirely different time of the year altogether.
Determined not to spend the entire night alone in the hostel with my dormmates after F had left to go back home, I decided to brave the dark and scary streets of Christchurch (possibly a byproduct of the many empty roads and half standing buildings due to the earthquakes) to check out this Festival across the street from my hostel. It was also the quickest and cheapest way of grabbing a bite near central Christchurch, which was good news to my belly after a long day out in Lyttleton and Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula… Only $12 for some pretty tasty noodles, fish balls, and siu mai!!
The lanterns were all pretty fun and impressive, and even more so once the sun had gone down! The lanterns were scattered throughout the Northern section of Hagley Park around a whole lot of stalls selling food and other goodies, as well as a stage full of music and dance performances that continued through the night. There was quite an impressive crowd out, too. After eating dinner whilst watching a Chinese acrobatics troupe perform on stage, I made an attempt to find and photograph every lantern on display. It was quite a walk! I suspect that I’ve missed a few – most noteably, the monkey from the twelve zodiac animals (I was devastated when I realised!). Unfortunately I didn’t have a good camera and the patience to photograph them properly, but despite this, lots of my photos turned out surprisingly well. Like all good celebrations, the night ended with a bang, too. This was a such cool way to welcome in the year of the snake!