Kiwis join Chinese migrants celebrating start of The Year of the Monkey

Source: 1News

The Year of the Monkey is officially underway, with the Chinese New Year starting today.

Growing Chinese communities across New Zealand are celebrating in style and other New Zealanders are getting in on the act too. 

Families are getting together for a feast, menus including sticky rice and a traditional black moss dish designed to bring luck and wealth in the Year of the Monkey.  

More than 170,000 Chinese immigrants live in New Zealand and many of them are taking time out to celebrate.

"We try to make our wishes for the New Year, so just for luck or whatever you want to wish for," said Janet Leong at the Chinese Gardens in Dunedin. 

Today marks the start of a 16-day celebration, a chance for Chinese immigrants to bring in the New Year and also for other New Zealanders to have a taste of Chinese culture. 

Art galleries in the inner-city Auckland suburb of Parnell are getting into the spirit of the Year of the Monkey. 

Thirty Chinese lamps created by Kiwi artists will be auctioned, with the profits going to Starship Children's Hospital.

"We have a very large Chinese population, as we all know, and I think we should embrace it and do our bit for it quite honestly," said Jonathan Grant of Jonathan Grant Galleries.

Monkeys are set to be an attraction at the Lantern Festival in Auckland too.

The festival has outgrown it's home at Albert Park, so will be held in the Auckland Domain next week.