25 Sep 2020

Dominion Road Moon Festival to go ahead with some restrictions

6:36 am on 25 September 2020

The Dominion Road Moon Festival is coming back to Auckland with lantern decorations, rabbit colouring and shopping discounts after a successful inaugural event last year.

Rabbit posters for the Moon Festival.

Rabbit posters for the Moon Festival. Photo: Supplied

More than 20,000 people attended the previous event, but it needs to scale down this time due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The festival, also known as Mid-Autumn festival, is celebrated in China and many other eastern Asian countries and is an occasion for families to gather, enjoy the full moon and celebrate the autumn harvest.

Gavin Zhang, general secretay of the Auckland Balmoral Chinese Business Association, which is organising the event together with Albert-Eden local Board and Dominion Road Business Association, said a lot of planned activities had to be cancelled amid the pandemic.

However, shops at the central Auckland road have been decorated by flags and lanterns, and businesses are also offering varied discounts, Zhang said.

"The spirit of the festival will still be celebrated... We just really want more people to come and join us... please visit us, celebrate with us and keep safe," he said, adding that businesses have been struggling due to the pandemic and would appreciate any support.

Panel of judges (L to R): Christina Robertson, Gary Homes, Kendyl Smith and Cheng Hu Shao.

Panel of judges (from left): Christina Robertson, Gary Homes, Kendyl Smith and Cheng Hu Shao. Photo: Supplied

Prior to the start of the event, people were asked to colour rabbit posters and return their work to the organiser for a competition. Rabbit is a symbol for the festival, as Chinese legend has it that it accompanies a beautiful woman called Chang'e on the moon.

Around 200 rabbit posters returned to the organisers are on display at the shops and people are asked to hunt for the ones made by themselves or their friends. The top 30 posters are featured on six gallery boards around Eden Valley and Balmoral town centres.

The festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, and this year it is on 1 October.

The event starts from Friday and lasts for 10 days until 4 October.