Sunday, February 14, 2010

CNY in Auckland (part 1)

A couple of weeks ago I received a letter from Qantas informing me that my Frequent Flyer Air Points will be confiscated if I don't fly anywhere by Feb end!

Since Chinese New Year is just round the corner, we decided to check out the Chinese New Year Festival & Market Day at the ASB Showgrounds, Auckland on Saturday. We also look forward to catch up with old friends!

We were travelling light for a change, why... even my cameras are the "light" varieties ;) I took with me the "Neglected Gem", the Nikon Coolpix 8400 and the reliable Canon G9.

I also have on my belt, a pouch to put these two cameras in; phew! It was then I realised their combine weight is nearly the same as my Nikon D300! Ha ha ha...

We arrived in Auckland on Thursday afternoon, a hot and humid day; remind us of the sticky weather in Malaysia! The room was steaming hot! So we upgrade to an air conditioned room, a $20 extra for creature comfort!

Ellen and Jeff pick us up nice and early on Saturday morning for the ASB Showgrounds, even at 9.15 am; the car parks are filling up fast!

We supposed to wait till 9.30 am before we were let into the main building after the VIPs, but the VIPs were late!

The waiting game... why are we waiting ;)

All were forgiven with the arrival of our charismatic Prime Minister, John Key. I was amazed so many Chinese families wanted to pose a picture with him!

Watch the fingers! Ha ha ha... that's how you pose with a Prime Minister?

Pansy Wong chatting with Le General.

One for the album!

Hello, I am John Key; your friendly Prime Minister...

Apart from the V.I.P.s, the traditional Chinese dragon dance was a real crowd puller!

I have not seen such a long dragon before! It was really impressive, take a look at the video I shot at the end of this page.

What a majestic Chinese dragon!

I try to find out how long this flowing creature is, one of the "dragon girl" told me it is "42 poles" long! Huh? Ha ha ha...

Jumping over the dragon? Not as simple as it look!

The traditional "Chai Shen" (God of Prosperity) was there giving away red packets, yes; there really is money inside these packets!

Stalls selling Chinese New Years stuff are doing a roaring trade..

So are the smoke, eh... food stalls!

Wow! You can even get Malaysian murtabak here!

All in all, we had a really good time! Thank you Ellen and Jeff! On our way to the city we saw thousands of cars inching along the express way heading towards where the festival is! Glad we came early!

Famous Last Words:

All the shots of the VIPs and dragon dance plus the video below were taken with my compact Canon G9, I was standing at the same spot all the time; using the buit in zoom lens and framing on the large 3" preview screen. To get faster frame rates, I was using jpeg only.

The whole process work out very smoothly, who need a bulky SLR ;)

Wishing all my friends a happy and roaring successful New Year of the Tiger!

新的一年,新的开始。新的希望,新的生机 !!

Foot Note :

I did not realise I was being snapped while I was snapping John Key! Ha ha ha... thanks for the candid Stephanie! :)

No reward for guessing who is me...
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Tulloch

You Might Also Like:

CNY in Auckland (part 2)

CNY Festival celebrates 10 years in Wellington!

A CNY Weekend in Wellington


Andy said...

Hi CY, a steady pair of hands on Video too... Best wishes to you and family for the Lunar New year, and Gong Xi Fa Cai... Andy & family

cy.leow said...

Weng Lim commented on my link in FaceBook!


You really did a good job in sharing some of the activities of the CNY festival in Auckland with others. I am a bit embarassed because I am already in Auckland for quite a while but did nothing. Well done!

Weng Seng"

You are welcome Weng Seng! Look out for part 2 :)

heather said...

I thought CNY were your complete intials eg CNY in Auckland..Part 1.I thought the N stood for Noel or Norris or Neville or something like that.
I like your photos, but I don`t think anyone can make John Key look sexy.
I would rather have Murtabak than John Key,
I love the way they make Murtabak, How clever is that!It must take years of practice to stretch the roti the way they do.
Maybe they will have a festival like that in Wellington?

CH said...

Hi CY,
Nice to know u are having fun in Auckland, didn't realize they are so many Chinese celebrate CNY in Auckland, nice video and looking forward to your second series...Gong Xi Fatt Chai to you and your family..."Kieong Hee! Kieng Hee"