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It was the middle of February, and lantern festivals were taking place all across New Zealand. It’s an annual ritual that occurs at the first full moon after the Chinese New Year, and in Christchurch thousands of lamps were swaying in the breeze, lighting the way of the crowds who had come to join in the festivities.
The park was full of stalls where you could buy everything from Chinese food to delicately painted souvenirs. And the lanterns themselves were strung between stalls, in the trees, around the edge of the park and even along the river!
Chinese lanterns at the Lantern Festival, Christchurch, New Zealand
Traditional red lanterns were strung between the stalls

 

Lantern Festival, Christchurch, New Zealand
Every tree was decorated with lanterns of a different design
Lantern Festival, Christchurch, New Zealand
Many trees seemed to have birds flying through them

 

Woman in a kimono at the Christchurch Lantern Festival
Around the edge of the park the lanterns formed complete tableaux. Here a woman in a kimono contemplates a kite

 

Christchurch Lantern Festival
Of course all the signs of the Chinese zodiac made an appearance

 

Dragon at the Lantern Festival, Christchurch, New Zealand
A magnificent dragon shows its teeth

Fish in the river at the Christchurch Lantern Festival

The river was full of fish

 

 

Lantern Festival, Christchurch, New Zealand
And a many humped sea monster rose from the water

 

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