Confucius Institute’s recently arrived Mandarin Language Assistants (MLAs) had a delightful weekend celebrating the Auckland Lantern Festival in the Auckland Domain. On for four nights from 1st to 4th March it is the largest Chinese Festival in Auckland with around 200,000 visitors enjoying hundreds of coloured handmade Chinese lanterns, as well as different cultural activities, performances and food. For the MLAs, it was the first time they were able to meet tens of thousands of people altogether in New Zealand. “Seeing so many people is a cure for homesickness”, said one of the MLAs.

Confucius Institute in Auckland this year, contributed with a focus on Chinese New Year calligraphy in association with ASB. The activity attracted a great deal of attention as people came to learn about the art and took away with them special characters or sayings wishing them good luck, health and fortune for the new year. Others had their names translated into Chinese or couples had ‘I love you’ for each other.

Also very popular at the Lantern Festival was Confucius Institute’s New Zealand College of Medicine Confucius Classroom. Wan Ya, the MLA volunteer and Chinese medicine graduate was kept very busy all night sharing information on traditional Chinese medicine. She was very surprised that more people than she thought knew about and would choose traditional Chinese medical massage and acupuncture as a treatment.

The Lantern Festival was a special night for many and a great way to end Chinese New Year festivities.

Confucius Institute in Auckland proudly supported the Auckland Lantern Festival as one of its official sponsors.