Chinese New Year Celebrations in New Zealand

Chinese Lantern Festival Dragon

Chinese New Year Celebrations in New Zealand

Celebrate welcoming in the Year of the Ox for the 2021 Chinese New Year in Auckland and New Zealand.

The Chinese New Year is also know as the Spring Festival and Lunar New Year and is celebrated among Chinese communities in Auckland and across the world. Each year in the Chinese calendar is represented by one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. The Ox is the second animal in the zodiac Calendar.

When is Chinese New Year celebrated?

Chinese New year is based on the lunar and solar calendars so the actual dates change each year. 2021 is represented by the Ox and starts on 12 February 2021. The Chinese New Year is celebrated over 15 days, the festival stretches from the new moon on New Year’s Day until the full moon on the Lantern Festival.

What’s happening for Chinese New Year 2021 in Auckland?

Chinese New Year celebrations have become an important part of Auckland’s event calendar.

Our favourite Chinese New Year celebration events in Auckland are:

1. Auckland Lantern Festival

Enjoy the hundreds of lanterns at the four day family-friendly Auckland Lantern Festival at Captain Cook and Marsden Wharf in Auckland City this year.  The Lantern Festival will run from Thursday 25 February to Sunday 28 February 2021 and marks the end of the Chinese New Year period with a firework display. (Note that the event is not in the Auckland Domain this year.)

Read about Auckland’s for Kids tips for visiting the Lantern Festival with kids from the prior Lantern Festivals.

2. Chinese New Year Festival & Market Day

The 2021 Chinese New Year Festival & Market Day is on at the ASB Showgrounds on 30 January 2021. 

3. Chinese New Year Activities for kids at Auckland Libraries

Local Auckland Libraries have lots of events happening for kids to celebreate the Chinese New Year. Find out what events are on in February 2021.


4. Chinese New Year lights up the Sky Tower  and the Auckland Harbour Bridge

Watch the Sky Tower light up in Red and Gold to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Vector will also be Lighting up the Auckland Harbour Bridge for the Lantern Festival 2021 to celebrate the Chinese New Year from 22 February for seven nights.

What other Chinese New Year events are happening in the rest of New Zealand?

There are lots of other Chinese New Year events happening across New Zealand to celebrate the Year of the Ox. If you are holidaying out of Auckland don’t worry you can celebrate the New Year at the Chinese New Year Festival in the TSB Arena & Shed 6 in Wellington on 13 and 14 February 2021, the 2021 Year of the Golden Ox Parade in Cathedral Square in Christchurch on Sunday 14 February 2021, visit the Waikato Museum on the first day of the Chinese New Year on 13 February 2021 in Hamilton for an afternoon of festival arts and children’s activities or celebrate the Chinese New Year at Lan Yuan the Chinese Gardens in Dunedin on 12 February 2021.

Are you or your children born in the Year of the Ox?

People born in  1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 and 2021 were born in the years of the Ox.  In Chinese Culture, the Ox is a valued animal and people born in the year of the Ox are honest, hardworkers, intelligent and reliable and do not demand praise.

Why are dragon dances and lion dances part of Chinese New Year celebrations?

Dragon dances are believed to bring good luck, and it is thought that the longer the dragon, the more luck will be brought to the community.  Lion dances chase away the evil spirit Nian.