Lantern festival to celebrate culture, community

Ready for lift-off . . . Wednesday Coffee Group members Anne Cheng (left) and Avis Rishworth set up their lanterns last week for tomorrow’s Lawrence Lantern Festival. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN

Anne Cheng is no stranger to celebrating her culture.

She moved to Lawrence in 2016 and, wanting to weave her culture into the town, took on the organisation of a yearly Lawrence Lantern Festival.

Last year the festival did not go ahead due to Covid›19, so Ms Cheng is excited to finally get back to celebrations.

Originally from Hong Kong, Ms Cheng said she had always loved making lanterns to celebrate mid›autumn, and encouraged the town to do the same.

‘‘The Chinese Mid›Autumn Festival is the second›most important festival after Chinese New Year in the Chinese cultural calendar,’’ she said.

‘‘These aren’t Chinese lanterns as such, because we use tracing paper and any decorations we want, but they still celebrate the same thing. You can make your lantern as simple or complex as you want.’’

This year’s festival and parade, organised by Ms Cheng and others, including the Wednesday Coffee Group, takes place tomorrow night.

Community members are welcome to gather at The Arches at 7pm. The parade will run down Whitehaven St and finish at The Prospector Cafe.

‘‘It’s great to introduce local history to younger kids . . .the Lawrence Area School takes part in making lanterns for the night as well,’’ Ms Cheng said.

‘‘I love that our community gets so involved here.’’