Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lantern Festival

Takoyaki balls - same batter as okinomiyaki, different filling, different shape.

Speacialty to Christchurchs' Lantern Festival.

This puppet is writing (in phonetics) "Sin Knee-en Qwi-le" or Happy New Year in mandarin.

The central water fountain became home to this enormous red dragon and his floatilla of pond lilies.

February 14th marked the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations. This was marked in Christchurch with the Lantern Festival held in Victoria Square. Both performers and lanterns were brought in from China, as well as from down the street, food stalls with an asian bent were invited to line the squares' perimetre and the square just seemed to fill itself. There was a Chinese Opera Face Changer, who in the course of a 10 minute performance changed his face no less than 10 times with a swish of his cape in a matter of seconds. There was a puppet who did calligraphy and another who performed the same operatic face changing as the real one only in minature. There were musicians, dancers, martial artists and speakers. The lanterns themselves varied from the traditional dragon to the more local penguin and sheep. And the food was phenomenal. As the evening progressed and the sky dimmed, hippotamus shone in the river, musical turtles lit up the rivers edge and giant bumble bees flit through the trees. It was a magical night.

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