Chinese New Year welcomes the year of the rat with a festival

30 January 2020

To celebrate Chinese New Year, a wide variety of cuisine, crafts and cultural events will be held in the capital over the weekend – and everyone is welcome.

Chinese New Year image of a dragon

The festival kicks-off on Saturday afternoon with events and activities to give everyone a taste of Asia, including:

  • Shows from local and international artists in the TSB arena
  • Rides, face painting and a petting zoo at Frank Kitts Park
  • A parade through the streets
  • A market of food stalls – all serving some form of Asian cuisine
  • And a fireworks display on Saturday night.

Mayor Andy Foster is looking forward to joining in the events and parade to support the city’s 19th year of the festival. 

“The Chinese community has been an integral part of Wellington since the first settlers arrived around the 1880s. They contribute strongly to the economic, historic and cultural fabric of the city – so it’s important to celebrate our history, present, and future together,” says Mayor Foster.

“Cultural events benefit Wellington as a whole – they bring our current residents together, as well as attracting visitors and talented performers to our capital. They allow us to showcase the diversity that makes Wellington such a great place to live.

“We believe in making smart investments into the city to help it thrive on all levels, so we are proud to fund an event which celebrates cultural and artistic diversity.”

All events can be enjoyed by Wellingtonians and visitors for free or koha, including performances from world-famous acrobatic artists and dancers.

On Sunday, a parade will wind through the streets of Wellington to share the spirit of Chinese New Year. The parade incorporates a variety of festive and traditional music, dances, lions and dragons.

The parade starts at 2pm on Sunday, but Tennyson Street will be closed from 9am for the staging area, then there will be rolling lane closures from 2pm from: 

  • Tennyson Street to Cambridge Terrace
  • Through to Courtenay Place
  • Continuing onto Taranaki Street and Taranaki wharf.