Whanganui's Festival of Light, Lanterns on the Awa, is on this Saturday on the banks of the Whanganui River.
The annual festival of East Asian culture will celebrate light and laughter in the Year of the Ox, with the Moutoa Quay precinct to be decorated for the event. The event is organised by the Whanganui branch of the New Zealand China Friendship Society.
There will be traditional treats, crafts and customs, music, dance and martial arts. The organisers are promising a magical family time and encourage people to bring a rug to sit on and enjoy a "different dinner".
The event starts at 5pm on Saturday, May 8, and goes through until 9.30pm.
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The programme, with approximate times, is:
• 24 Periods/Solar Terms Drum - YouTube video (5.25pm).
• Mayor Hamish McDouall speaking on Whanganui's friendship with Chinese city Lijiang
• Lijiang Festive Dance - live performance (5.55pm).
• Mischievous Immortals - live performance by Shirley McDouall School of Dance students (6.05pm).
• Performances by Whanganui Collegiate School international students: Piano duet - Rex Liu and Haicheng Lai: The Coming of the Queen of Sheba (based on music by Handel); Violin solo - Hideki Yutoku: Rondo Capriccio (6.20pm); Two violins, cello and piano - Richie Mao, Eruera Delamere-Heap, Srun Viriyautsahakul and Cadi Nguyen: Mrs McLeod's Reel.
• Whanganui High School Confucius Institute students: Speech from Confucius Institute; Dance solo - Billie Dufty: Chinese style dance (6.30pm); Singing solo - Reina Jones: Little Happiness (6.35pm); Taiji Quan - Eva Jiang (6.40pm); Gourd pipes and Chinese zither: Liz Li, Sophie Liang, Emma Ding: Blue and White Porcelain.
• Shaolin Kung Fu Group performances by students from Shaolin Nam Pai Chuan NZ: kids, teens and adults groups (6.50pm).
• Singing solo - Yun Lu-Hosie: A Sprig of Blossom (7pm).
• Taiji Sword - Kelly Phillips and Shuisheng Zhang (7.05pm).
• Erhu (solo) - YouTube video (7.15pm).
• Kung Fu performance - YouTube video.
• Lion dance - YouTube Video (7.25pm).
• Lijiang Festive Dance Part II (ends about 8pm).