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Lyttelton, portal to Canterbury’s historic past, a vibrant sustainable community creating a living future

sunmask_festival_of_lights_lytteltonFamily Mask and Lantern Making Day.

When: Sunday 20 June, 11am  - 3pm

Where: Lyttelton Recreation Centre Winchester Street

How much: $5 per item made.

Bookings: Bookings essential at the Lyttelton Harbour Information Centre 328 9093 by 13 June.

A fun, creative activity for the whole family, in preparation for a highlight of the Lyttelton Harbour Festival of Lights - the street party mask parade.

Sponsored by Creative New Zealand


Playing should not be the sole prerogative of children.  We would like to encourage adults and children alike to shed their 2010 blues, come and have a play with mask and lantern making and then join us and the CMS Samba Band with their creations on the street. Joining the parade, while not obligatory, can be great fun, with the bonus of being entirely anonymous!

We now have a five year tradition of mask making and masquerading in Lyttelton, and every year children and adults pour along the street in spectacular and whacky masks of their own creation.  But what not everybody knows is that half the fun is in the preparation and anticipation.

Lyttelton Main School and Lyttelton West have a tradition of making masks in class and processing annually to open the Festival of Lights Street Party (June 25). Joining us, and thoroughly welcome, is an increasing number from the greater Christchurch area. Anyone from anywhere can join in and add to the atmosphere.

Because it is the “Festival of Lights” we added the option of paper lanterns last year.  We held our first family day of mask and lantern making.  This was open to everyone, as well as to locals who wanted to make something extra.  It was attended by children, fathers, mothers and grannies who wanted the opportunity have fun and play with the mediums.

Juliet Neill (performer, puppeteer and teacher)


Matariki Celebrations

Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars which is visible in the New Zealand night sky at a specific time of the year. Matariki re-appears in the dawn sky mid-winter signalling the start of the Māori New Year and the date changes each year according to the Māori lunar calendar.

Whakaraupo Carving Centre tutor Caine Tauwhare from local hapu Ngāti Wheke talks about the significance and traditions of Matariki here