Beth, Mikey and I wandered along to the Lantern Festival on the Sunday night. We went early, when it was still light to have a look around and enjoy some tasty treats for dinner. It was lovely to be there before the crowds. It was the start of a beautiful evening, still very hot at 5 pm. We got a chance to peruse the abundance of food and market stalls. Beth and I bought some beautiful looking rose blossom tea and resisted the temptation to buy polar fleece panda hats. They looked cute at the Lantern Festival, but really where else would you wear them?
We purchased dinner and took our noodle boxes into Albert Park. There were so many families, of all sorts of nationalities, eating dinner and enjoying the spectacular, colourful sights that the Lantern Festival has to offer.
The futuristic, robotic stilt walkers had the children fascinated. The children would tentatively approach, keeping a safe distance, then move up closer when they felt it would be okay. The stilt walkers took their roles very seriously, momentarily freezing into position, then reaching down to shake the children's hands.
Best $2 I ever spent? Hiring two Panda heads for Beth and Mike to wear for a photo opportunity. You might have noticed that there's a bit of a panda theme here. Beth loves pandas. It all stems back to some panda ornaments and a panda brooch from her childhood...... Such a cute Panda couple!
We came back later in the evening to check out the lanterns in the dark......
....and to see the spectacular firework display that marked the end of the Lantern Festival. Beth has set it to music. Check it out on the Lantern Festival post on her blog. It's very beautiful!
So that's the Lantern Festival - a crazy, busy, stimulating visual and sensory experience that can leave you feeling a little overwhelmed and suffering from people overload! Will I be back next year? Definitely. It's a one of a kind celebration of the diversity of Auckland set in the very heart of the city. Magical!!