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Nine things to explore during Chinese New Year

Celebrate the Year of the Rat in Ōtautahi, Christchurch

The rat represents optimism, intelligence and energy – all of which will be featured in the city’s vibrant celebrations.

Throughout the lunar New Year period lanterns will adorn the Christchurch Casino, the City Promenade and the Riverside Market.

Here’s just some of the events that will be celebrated during the New Year period, for more events visit the Christchurch City Council’s What’s On page.

15 January to 9 February

Ballantynes Lanterns, Cnr Cashel and Colombo Streets

See the stunning installation of handmade lanterns throughout the store. There's a competition for the kids and some very insta-worthy pictures, this is a Ballantynes event not to be missed!


26 January

Happy Chinese New Year Festival, Victoria Square, 11am to 10pm

Bring the family into the city and celebrate Chinese New Year! Enjoy authentic Chinese food, free live performances and fun activities.


27 to 31 January

Lunar New Year Bilingual Story times, Upper Riccarton, Shirley, Bishopdale South, Halswell and Tūranga Libraries

Listen to the story of Zodiac animals, sing songs in Chinese and Korean to celebrate the year of the rat!


29 January to 7 February

Chinese Traditional Games, Upper Riccarton, Papanui, New Brighton, Tūranga, and Linwood Libraries

Come along to this free session and take part in Chinese traditional games, calligraphy, paper cutting and plate painting.  Learn to write your name in the Chinese alphabet and have fun with your friends and whānau in this special celebration season!


31 January

Lunar New Year Bedtime Stories, Fendalton Library, 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Come along with your whānau to hear special bedtime stories on Lunar New Year’s Day! Enjoy Chinese traditional performing arts, shadow puppets and themed activities.


1 February

Spectacular Lunar New Year performance, Tūranga Library 11am to 1pm

A spectacular display of colours, costumes, music and performances to welcome the Year of the Rat. You are invited to come dressed in traditional clothing.


8 February

Lunar New Year Whānau Fun Day, Upper Riccarton Library, 11am to 2pm

Bring peace and joy to you in the Lunar New Year with Year of the Rat free mini performances. Come and enjoy a variety of Chinese traditional games, crafts and themed activities. 


6 to 15 February

Night Noodle Market, North Hagley Park, 4pm to 10pm

Follow the delicious smells to North Hagley Park and treat the family to everything from fusion dumplings, ramen, bao buns, fresh-off-the-grill BBQ skewers and delicious eastern desserts – nom nom!


16 February

2020 Christchurch Chinese New Year Parade, Cathedral Square, 3pm to 5pm

A celebration of colour and culture, the parade will include lions, dragons, dancers, drummers and more! Starting at the Bridge of Remembrance at 3pm the Parade will move down Cashel St and finish in the Square for a festival of performances and culture.