It’s often known as the Garden City, but Christchurch should really be called ’Festival City‘. Throughout the year, the city hosts over a dozen festivals with themes as diverse as adventure, music, heritage, and flowers.
The year starts of with the internationally acclaimed World Busker’s Festival. Billed as the largest street performance festival in Australasia, it attracts the unusually talented (contortionists, mimes, human statues, death defying acrobats etc) to perform on street and stage during it‘s 11 day, 10 night ‘don‘t try this at home‘ entertainment extravaganza.
At the end of February, Christchurch does live up to it’s title as ’garden city’ with Festival of Flowers which features colourful floral displays, exhibitions, lectures, and workshops. Highlights include the Cathedral Floral Carpet, Wearable Flowers Parade, and Garden Party at Edmonds Factory Garden.
March brings the Chinese Lantern Festival. The usually sedate Victoria Square lights up with lanterns strung from the trees and floating along the Avon River. Chinese music, dancing, and food is in abundance, as are the nightly fireworks .
At the end of March, the wineries of Canterbury converge at the Wairapa Wine and Food Festival for one day event featuring the best food, wine, and music that the region can offer.
In April, music is in the air with the International Jazz & Blues Festival. A line-up of both international and nationally renowned musicians keeps everyone humming. Along with night time performances in bars and pubs around the city, the festival features free outdoor concerts all weekend at the South of Lichfield Square right in the heart of the city.
At the end of June there’s the Lyttleton Festival of Lights, nine days of mid winter celebrations starting with the street party. Celebrations include an outdoor street market, short films and exhibitions, music and dance, and fantastic firework displays.
The Christchurch Arts Festival is the highlight for July and August. With over 30 venues scattered throughout the city, this two week festival is Christchurch’s largest festival and showcases the a wide array of New Zealand arts and culture.
And finally, in November, there is the NZ Cup and Show Week which features fashion week, horseracing, and the Canterbury Agricultural Show. Its when country comes to town.
You would think that December would be the month of rest and recovery , but no. December is earmarked for annual Summertimes Festival, a collection of events that occur throughout the summer months.