Since Chinese New Year is just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to share our experience with Chinese New Year in Rotorua, New Zealand!

Admittedly, New Zealand gets flooded with Asian tourists over the Chinese New Year. We found busloads of Chinese groups everywhere we went, and we sometimes found it humorous to watch what excited them the most. For example, in the evenings we saw buses drop off the busloads at the local Kuirau Park—and the adults ran around and enjoyed the children’s playground equipment (I didn’t see any kids in tow). My parents lived in China for half a year, and admitted that playground equipment like we’re used to is a bit of a novelty for the Chinese—so it’s no wonder they enjoyed it so much. It sure put a smile on our face just watching them!

Anyhow, we found info online that said there would be a Chinese New Year Celebration at the Rotorua Night Market (Thursdays) when we were in town. The event description said: “An evening bursting with activity for all the family – animal face painting, calligraphy, Chinese folk dances, Chinese food, dragon dances, lantern displays, a tea ceremony, Tai Chi, and the very significant red envelope gifting. A fabulous opportunity to experience traditional customs!”

And that, it was!


We stood right next to the drummers, which was an explosion of sound!

And sure enough, just as the event description said, our children were receivers of traditional red envelope gifting (with small coins inside).

It was a fun experience, and the crowds weren’t too terrible. If we hadn’t already eaten, there was also a plethora of food options which would have been yummy to try!

If you happen to be near Rotorua during their Chinese New Year Celebration, it’s a fun pit-stop that will have the kids entertained!

My name is Alisa, and I love traveling the world with my adventurous husband and rambunctious 5 small children. I am passionate about gorgeous scenery, meeting new people, and I’m a certified salad nut. Most of all, I love making memories with my family, and I enjoy sharing our travels with others!

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