Significant Milestone for Dunedin Chinese Garden

Pandas, tours and a tea ceremony will feature when the Dunedin Chinese Garden celebrates its fifth birthday and the Moon Festival this weekend.

To celebrate its birthday, the Garden will be open free of charge on Saturday 14 September. Visitors will receive a red balloon for luck, and 40 spot prizes will be distributed in the first 200 balloons.

The Garden opened to visitors in June 2008, but was officially opened in September 2008.

Garden Visitor Services Officer Ute Keck says, “It is a Chinese tradition to celebrate the first, fifth and, thereafter, every 10th birthday of a business in a big and colourful manner to smooth the path for an even more successful future. We’re really excited that we’ll be able to share this milestone with the wider Dunedin community.

“If you are out and about this weekend we have something for everyone, from the resident cuddly pandas, to special festival-style food available in the Tea Shop.  It’s going to be a real treat!”

People are encouraged to come and meet popular pandas Yong Qi and Xuan Ze, who have delighted crowds of children at the Garden. Two volunteers donned panda costumes from China as part of the July school holiday programme and they return for the birthday celebrations.

There are also guided tours of the Garden. An exhibition of photographs of the Dunedin Garden’s sister garden in Shanghai, Yu Garden, marking the fifth anniversary, will be on display at the NZR Lounge in the southern end of Toitū Otago Settlers Museum from 14 to 28 September.

The birthday celebrations coincide with Moon Festival Week, which runs from 14 to 22 September. As part of the Festival celebrations, there will be classes, tours, a tea ceremony, a poetry competition and children’s activities. There will also be a Moon Festival buffet dinner at the Garden on Thursday 19 September.

The Moon Festival is a lunar harvest festival with rituals that date back 3000 years. It is one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar and is a time of family reunion and celebration, with a spirit of gratitude. It is also related to the myth of the immortal Moon Goddess, Chang O, who lives in the moon.

More details about the Garden’s birthday and festival events can be found at

Contact details

Contact Visitor Services Officer, Dunedin Chinese Garden on 477 4000.

Image - Pavillion at Dunedin Chinese Garden