On Friday night we went to the Lantern festival in central Auckland. We had been looking forward to it all week and it didn't disappoint.
It did not get off to an auspicious start though. There were about 100 other events in Auckland over the weekend and the motorway was clogged. So was the inner city and the car park building we parked in. MJ and I exchanged words.
The festival was held in a beautiful park on top of a hill with huge old trees and winding paths. The park is right next to Auckland University and the street in between the park and university was closed and was lined with food & trinket vendors.
We ate whole lot of food we don't normally eat and allowed the kiddies to chose a trinket each. As daylight faded the lanterns came into their own. They were spectacular. Chinese culture is beautiful and ancient and we felt privileged to experience a little bit of it.
I printed off a map of the festival for the small map-crazy boy. He was in seventh heaven.
We needed a leash for Grace. The crowds were MASSIVE and a small blue eyed blond girl-child wandering off repeatedly got to be a little tiresome and a tad frightening.
Most of the lanterns were strung in trees and lined the pathways. They were so beautiful and in every shape and type you can imagine. There were even wasp lanterns (!?)...
This is an incredible festival. But. You need to be ok with crowds. More people than you can imagine and to non-crowd people like us, it can be a little frightening when the crowd surges. With two small children and my mother who is still frail, it got a bit much at times. So I think we'll be back when the kiddies are a little older.
Auckland is such a diverse community and this was a wonderful way to learn a little more about the Chinese culture.
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