These huge, custom lanterns are handmade and shipped all the way from Zigong in China’s Sichuan province. Each individual lantern takes about one month to complete and is carefully crafted by artisans with more than 20 years of experience!
The fish is a lucky symbol. This is due to its pronunciation - there’s another word that’s a homophone of fish that means having extra luck and good fortune. The fish is usually a part of New Year dinner feast as it represents abundance.
A special fish that’s very lucky, carp attract wealth and blessings while avoiding disasters. There is a traditional Chinese belief that the fish is metaphorically moving and striving forward against the current. Most fish can’t swim upstream in difficult oncoming water, it’s only the carp that’s able to swim or “jump” up the water. This makes the carp a lucky fish.
2020 is the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac. In Chinese culture this means having a strong, prosperous and lucky year. We’ve used a mouse for our lantern rather than a rat because, well, look how cute it is! A well-known Taiwanese story describes how rats came into the house bringing money, good fortune and good health.
Cuba Street Penguins
You’ll spot our penguins on top of Wellington’s iconic diving platform, right by Te Papa. The rainbow umbrella is a tribute to the Lantern Festival’s original location on Cuba Street. The penguins will be making their way up the steps to the diving board ready to take the plunge, in true Wellingtonians style
Spectacular Seahorses and The Jelly Jungle
Sea creatures like the Seahorses and Jellyfish were chosen as a nod to the Lantern Festival’s new home on the Wellington waterfront.