Registrations are now open for families and people of all ages to secure their visit to the inaugural Moon Lantern Trail (October 21-24)a free community event that is shaping up to be one of the highlights of Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival 2021.

The interactive trail will begin at Adelaide Festival Centre, with attendees walking past an impressive 40m Hong Kong dragon lantern along the Adelaide Oval footbridge before reaching the main attractions over at Pinky Flat in the riverbank precinct.

In a new interpretation of the much-loved Moon Lantern Parade, the Moon Lantern Trail offers four days of celebrations instead of the one-night-only event previously held at Elder Park.

More than 20 giant lanterns from previous OzAsia Festivals will be on display, and a special story will be shared using some of the more popular lanterns from previous parades – along with two new additions to be revealed closer to the date. Returning favourites include the flying pig, junk ship, school of fish, lion dance, lucky dog (aka Inu Hariko) and the two pandas.

OzAsia Festival Artistic Director Annette Shun Wah: “I have enjoyed being part of previous Moon Lantern Parades as an emcee, and now to see this wonderful event take on a whole new look for 2021 is very exciting for festival organisers and audiences alike.

“The Moon Lantern Trail continues our tradition of celebrating the mid-autumn festival, a very important event that has been observed by countries across Asia for thousands of years and has inspired delightful myths, stories and rituals. We’ll embrace these in a new family-friendly format across the weekend, giving audiences a more intimate and interactive experience of the spectacular lanterns in a self-led tour in their own time and pace.”

Audiences can walk through and admire the lanterns along the trail from 5pm on the Thursday and Friday and from 12 noon on the Saturday and Sunday. All four nights will feature lanterns lighting up at 7.30pm and giant puppets Rama and Sita roving through the trail from 8pm.

On the weekend, the trail will be complemented by a range of performances and workshops such as calligraphy, lantern making, weaving and more. A full schedule and trail map will be released next month. 

While the Moon Lantern Trail is free to attend, registrations are encouraged to guarantee admission for the desired day and time.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM: “As Australia’s leading contemporary arts festival fostering cultural engagement between Asia and Australia, OzAsia Festival serves a vital purpose within the local community by opening hearts and minds to new understandings of each other.

“I can think of no better example of this than the Moon Lantern Trail and the unique cultural experiences it has to offer. It’s going to be something very special for thousands of festival-goers to enjoy at their own pace, and it will be a great complement to the many other shows and events happening in the first week of the festival.”

Other nearby OzAsia Festival offerings include foodies favourite Lucky Dumpling Market at Elder Park along with free art exhibitions in the Dunstan Playhouse foyer.

Ticketed performances coinciding with the Moon Lantern Trail include Destinations by acclaimed Taiwanese-Australian pianist Belle Chen at Her Majesty’s Theatre to mark the festival’s opening night on Thursday, October 21.

Sydney Theatre Company and Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta will present Anchuli Felicia King’s White Pearl – a blisteringly funny satire about a skincare company whose new TV commercial goes viral for all the wrong reasons – in the Dunstan Playhouse from October 20-23.

Choreographer/dancer Alison Currie and award-winning Japanese soloist Yui Kawaguchi will perform in their first collaboration together for the world premiere of Somewhere, Everywhere, Nowhere in the Space Theatre from October 21-23.

The Moon Lantern Trail is open from 5pm to 10pm on Thursday, October 21, and Friday, October 22, and from 12 noon to 10pm on Saturday, October 23, and Sunday, October 24.

For more information and to register, visit www.ozasiafestival.com.au/events/moon-lantern-trail.

OzAsia Festival runs from October 21 to November 7.