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Lighting of Osmanthus GardensTe taiopenga rama o te māra o Osmanthus

The lighting of the Osmanthus Gardens in Cornwall Park is an annual event which celebrates Hastings' sister-city relationship with Guilin, in China.

Lighting of Osmanthus


The 2023 event has been postponed due to the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle on the region. New dates yet to be confirmed.


The festival was cancelled in 2022 due to COVID-19.


The 2021 Lighting of Osmanthus Gardens lantern festival took place from April 12-18, and featured a special guest - international artist Annie Gong. There were also double the number of lanterns from previous years, which were strung up over twice the area and the festival ran for four days longer than it usually does.


Unfortunately due to COVID-19, the 2020 Lighting of Osmanthus Gardens lantern festival was cancelled.


The 2019 Lighting of Osmanthus Gardens lantern festival took place at Cornwall Park, Hastings on 3 - 7 April. In 2019 new lotus lanterns were added to display, and classical music added to the magic.


The 2018 Lighting of Osmanthus Gardens lantern festival was a resounding success enjoyed over five nights of wonderful weather. It attracted huge crowds and we received fantastic feedback about the magic the festival created in the gardens.

The festival took place from 4 to 8 April. A highlight was the magnificent live performances from musicians dressed in traditional costume. Evy Tian from Wellington played the first three nights, and a stunning trio of musicians from Guilin, accompanied by Shen Ying from Guilin Foreign Affairs, played the last two nights, following a beautiful welcome sung by St Joseph's Maori Girls’ College choir.

The coloured traditional Chinese lanterns were the stars of the light show once again, with four more of the large floating lotus lamps imported for this year’s festival. We would like to give a huge thank you to all those who made a gold coin donation in support of continuing to grow the Lighting of Osmanthus Gardens lantern festival.


The 2017 lighting of the Osmanthus Gardens in Cornwall Park marked the 8th anniversary of the festival, and took place from Wednesday 5 April to Sunday 9 April.  The annual lighting of the gardens celebrates the sister-city relationship between Hastings and Guilin, in China. This year new lotus lanterns were graced the Garden’s waterways.  The lotus is regarded in China as one of the top 10 flowers.  It is a remarkable flower, noted not only for its ability to grow in muddy ponds, but also for its beautiful colours, size, and the richness of its symbolism.

The lanterns were made by Zigong Haitian Culture Co Ltd. After receiving a grant from Asia New Zealand Foundation in December 2016, they were constructed, dressed, delivered and loaded into a container bound for New Zealand by Christmas Eve, in order for them to arrive in Hastings by mid-February.


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