Malaysian Chinese Fei Enghuei and Esther Saw, in New Zealand
on a working holiday, did not expect to see their culture's
New Year celebrated so far from home.
The couple travelled from Alexandra, where they work as fruit
packers, to see in the Year of the Snake in Dunedin last
Hundreds attended the celebrations at the Dunedin Chinese
Garden on a balmy night, which was very different from the
inclement conditions that forced the cancellation of the
dragon parade from the Octagon last year.
A fireworks display brings to a close Chinese New Year
festivities in Dunedin last night. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The evening concluded with fireworks, just after 10pm. Mr
Enghuei said he had not expected to see celebrations on such a
scale so far from home, and he was pleased to see a range of
Asian cultures represented in the entertainment.
The snake portended prosperity, he said.
An elderly visitor to Dunedin, Colin Brain, of Queensland's
Sunshine Coast, Australia, said it often surprised people to
hear he was of Chinese descent.
He was one-eighth Chinese, he said, and marking the festival
was important to him.
He was pleased he could tie it in with a 12-day visit to
Dunedin. Dunedin couple Craig and Fiona White were attending
the festival for the first time, because their 21-year-old
son was part of a Japanese drumming group providing
Mr White said they had not realised previously how
multicultural the event's entertainment was, which showed
Dunedin was more culturally diverse than many people
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said the year of the snake
represented intelligence, gracefulness, and cunning. But the
event was about more than the meaning of the year, he said,
with a focus on reuniting with family and having fun.