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Wellington Chinese New Year Festival 20th anniversary celebrations 'to go off with a bang'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A weekend of activities to mark 20 years of Wellington’s Chinese New Year celebrations will go off with a bang on Saturday 13 February. The capital city’s night will light up with a fireworks display to farewell the Year of the Rat and welcome in the Year of the Ox, supported by Stonewood Capital.

Believed to have originated in ancient times, fireworks were used during Chinese New Year celebrations when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck to communities for the coming year.

Stonewood Group Is pleased to be supporting the festival's fireworks display for the fifth year running, this year through Stonewood Capital.

Michael Chow, co-owner of Stonewood Groups says, "Persistence, strength, and patience are attributes of the Ox, attributes which perfectly capture the longevity of the Chinese New Year Festival and the will to bring the community positivity and joy."

"Stonewood Capital Is very happy to support Wellington's Chinese New Year celebrations, which provide the city's Chinese and non-Chinese communities with enriching experiences that make the city a culturally rich and harmonious place to live and for visitors to enjoy."

Chinese New Year celebrations were first organised by the Asian Events Trust (AET) in 2002 and the festival has grown to become one of the most popular events in the city. It is one of Wellington’s largest and most anticipated cultural events, providing an important connection to Chinese culture for everyone in Wellington. A fireworks display was first included in the festival programme in 2008 when Wellington was gifted a display by the Beijing Municipal Government, and another one was included in 2011 to mark the festival’s 10th anniversary. With support from Stonewood Group, this has formed a regular component of the programme since 2016.

Linda Lim, Programme Director says, "Financial security of the festival has been critical to ensure its sustainability over the past 20 years. It has enabled us to develop and grow the event each year while delivering an event that enhances Wellington’s reputation as the cultural capital of New Zealand."

"We are grateful for our family of sponsors and supporters, and the partnership with Stonewood Group over the past five years has been vital in enabling us to add a fireworks display as a core element of our festival programme."

Pyrostar International, responsible for delivering some of New Zealand’s largest pyrotechnic displays including the Wellington Skyshow and Auckland’s NYE display from the Skytower, will be producing the fireworks display for the fifth year running.

Pyrostar Artistic Director, Robert McDermott says, "We are looking forward to producing a most spectacular explosion of sound and colour on Wellington’s waterfront to mark the 20th anniversary of Chinese New Year celebrations. The show will be the perfect way to farewell the Rat, warding off evil spirits and to bring luck, fortune, and most importantly good health for the coming year."

Prior to the fireworks display, which kicks off at 9.30pm, audiences will be able to engage with a series of activations at sites of the Chinese New Year Zodiac Art Trail. These activations will bring more noise and colour to the waterfront with Taiko drummers and Chinese Lion dancers performing in Frank Kitts Park (Tiger), Civic Square (Rabbit) and the Jervois Quay overbridge (Rat) from 8.30pm.

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