Oamaru Festival - Confucius Institute at University of Canterbury - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

CIUC Co-organised the First Chinese Lantern Festival
Celebration in Oamaru, NZ

SUN Kezhong with students performing Tai Chi

Photo 1: CIUC Martial Arts Instructor SUN Kezhong with young students


On the 10th of February, Oamaru City celebrated its first Chinese Lantern Festival at its harbour. This celebration was co-organised by the Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury (CIUC), Tourism Waitaki, Waitaki District Council and Oamaru Chinese Association. Jim Hopkins, a Waitaki District councillor hosted the event. About 500 local people and domestic and international tourists attended this celebration which lasted for five hours.

The celebration began with a round of thundering drums, followed by a stunning lion dance and a nun chucks show performed by CIUC martial arts teacher SUN Kezhong. Students from Weston School then performed a series of Chinese Songs, with a particularly big applause for the song ‘Happy New Year’ (Xin Nian Kuai Le). After that, the SUN Kezhong gave a demonstration martial arts class, of which Tai Chi was the most popular part. It attracted a lot of children to join and experience the real Chinese martial arts. Some parents complimented the event, stating that it had given their children a multi-cultural experience, commenting, “My children will never forget this wonderful evening”.

At the CIUC cultural workshop, volunteer teacher Cherry Chen (Chen Xuefei) from Waitaki Girls’ High School was very busy teaching children to make paper lanterns. Another two CIUC volunteer teachers, Cynthia Sun (SUN Qin) and Regina Yuan (YUAN Ruirui) were dressed in qipaos, showcasing the beauty of traditional Chinese clothes.

Traditional Chinese food as Chinese BBQ and dumplings made by the Oamaru Chinese Association were sold out in just one hour. Also of interest, there was a Zodiac Petting Zoo, with adorable roosters, dogs and pigs representing Chinese zodiac signs in the year 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively. Also, Chinese calligraphy, face painting and a colouring competition brought great fun and a unique experience to the audience.
The celebration ended with the movie Mulan and dazzling fireworks.

(written by: Sun Qin, translated by: Yuan Ruirui, CIUC)

Chinese lion dancing

CIUC Mandarin Language Assistants making lanterns

Girl holding up a picture of a rooster that she has coloured in

Girl with sight impairment playing gong

Students from Weston School


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