Lighting of Osmanthus Gardens

Please note: Due to the weather, we have to postpone the opening of the event until tomorrow, Thursday 6 April.


Date: 5 – 9 April

Time: 6pm – 10pm

Gold Coin donation

The lighting of the Osmanthus Gardens in Cornwall Park will mark the 8th anniversary of the festival, and will take place this year on Wednesday 5th April to Sunday 9th April, 6pm to 10pm.  As a tribute to the sister city relationship between Hastings and Guilin China, new lotus lanterns will be seen sprinkling the Garden’s waterways in their magnificence.  The Lotus is regarded in China as one of the top ten 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, and after only receiving a grant from Asia New Zealand Foundation in December, they were constructed, dressed, delivered and loaded into a container bound for NZ on Christmas Eve in order for them to arrive in Hastings by mid-February. Councillor Kevin Watkins, who organises the Lantern festival each year, said that it was just so fortunate that Asia NZ Foundation had already ordered lanterns from this same Company, and that there was spare room in their container for our four lotus lanterns.

Cr Watkins said the Osmanthus garden waterways could easily accommodate 30 Lotus lanterns, and on mass, would look so stunning by creating a visual kaleidoscope of colour and form.  Although for this year’s festival we have only four, he is sure they will stimulate the imagination as to what could be achieved with more.

Cr Watkins said he hoped individuals, organisation and businesses might like to donate and sponsor a lantern for next year’s festival.  There will also be a gold coin donation box set up to raise funds towards the ongoing purchase of new lights and lanterns so that we can continue to lift the vibrancy and dramatic effect of the Gardens for future years to come.  The Osmanthus Garden is such a beautiful spectacle at night during the festival; it is a Hastings icon, a treasure.  The tranquillity, the reflections of traditional Chinese silk lanterns in the waters, the lighting of trees, and the variation of the classical music accompaniment continues to attract a growing number of people each year.  Frequent comments heard from visitors are that the Gardens are ”oh so beautiful”...”stunning”… “just so peaceful”...”after a busy day is just like heaven”.

The opening night on Wednesday 5th April will be a special Asian-theme night whereby visitors will be encouraged to dress up in costume to enhance their experience even more.

Sponsor your lantern now by emailing Cr Watkins at and ensure you don’t miss this year’s Lantern Festival!