Expanding our vision in 2020, the Wellington Lantern Festival will light up the Wellington Waterfront for the first time for a not-to-be missed summer experience. The Lantern Festival will take over the capital's waterfront for two days with unique lanterns that encompass Wellington's creative spirit.


We're helping children to embrace their creativity and encouraging cultural exploration through the National Children's Lantern Competition, and programs like our free lantern making workshops in Wellington schools.


In 2020, the Wellington Lantern Festival's artistic director Lily Kao pays homage to her heritage and to the biggest Lantern Festival in the world – the Taiwanese Lantern Festival.

Let the fun begin!


New in 2020

• 8 all new life-sized lanterns

• Launch of the National Children's Lantern Competition

• New waterfront location

• Light inspired street performances

• 7m high Maori cultural lantern

Come and explore dining in Wellington - one of New Zealand's favourite destinations for food and culture hunters! Experience global street food, and discover new flavours and cuisine from all over the world. Over 45 internationally inspired and locally sourced food stalls will be serving up delicious treats all weekend.

Ultimate Street Food Fest



Cultural Entertainment and Performances

Enjoy a rich multicultural experience, with more than 300+ artists and performers showcased over two days. Our programme is packed with traditional and contemporary Asian culture routines, Dragon/Lion Dances, Salsa, Tap and Bollywood Dancing, Kapa Haka performances, circus acts and more. Stay tuned for the full festival programme - coming soon!



Spectacular Lantern Display

Get ready to be dazzled by hundreds of handmade lanterns from the National Children's Lantern Competition, as well as life-sized sculptured lanterns which have been custom-built by Chinese artisans - each of which took over a month to complete! In 2020 we’re adding six never-before-seen lanterns to our displays. One of these lanterns is an incredible two storeys high and symbolises Wellington's cultural inclusivity.

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