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Dunedin Midwinter Carnival


Sat 21 Jun 2014, 5:30pm

Where: The Octagon, The Octagon, Dunedin, Otago

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: MidwinterCarnival

Giant lanterns, towering stilt-walkers and magical dreams will take over Dunedin's Octagon on Saturday 21 June as part of the Dunedin Midwinter Carnival.

The annual procession has become an iconic regional event, drawing thousands of people out into the fresh winter chill to celebrate the season and connect with the local environment in a highly creative way.

Started in 1997 and featuring over a decade of lantern processions, the 2014 Dunedin Midwinter Carnival will once again dazzle participants of all ages. The theme for this year's event is 'A Winter Dreamland', referencing the surreal and enchanting world on the other side of the pillow. The event celebrates Matariki and the Winter Solstice (the longest night and shortest day of the year) – a great time for dreaming indeed.

The Carnival procession circumnavigates the Octagon illuminating the city's historic buildings with a spectacular display of giant lanterns created by artists and hand-held lanterns created by children. Public lantern-making workshops are held on the three weekends prior to the event taking place.

A range of dance, drumming and music groups participate in the event with specially choreographed performances and stunning costumes. The event ends with a bang as fireworks light up the evening sky while food stalls and fire performers add to the atmosphere.

“This is a truly spectacular event that is unique to Dunedin,” said Artistic Director Juliet Novena Sorrel. “Each year we create new lanterns and costumes and performances based around a theme. This year’s theme, ‘A Winter Dreamland’, will be infused with magic and the creation of a surrealist fantasy world that will surprise and delight.”

Bookings for the much-anticipated public lantern making workshops will open on 12 May from the Carnival’s website (

Images: Alan Dove Photography

Restaurants to book near Dunedin Midwinter Carnival