Last weekend Wellington turned into party central, as three main celebrations collided: Waitangi Day (February 6th), the Wellington Sevens rugby tournament, and Chinese New Year festivities. In the middle of all this we also managed to move house.
The Wellington Sevens is an international 7-a-side tournament, played last Friday and Saturday, and kicking off with a parade through the city on Thursday. But the main feature of the event is the way in which all the supporters, and pretty much everyone else, dresses up in outlandish costumes in order to attend the games, or just to charge from pub to pub. On both Friday and Saturday we spent a lot of time just wandering round Wellington, goggling at the weird and wacky outfits, and taking lots of photos. There were Roman legions, smurfs, fairies, pirates, witches, more Fred Flintstones than you can shake a stick at, and other costumes which boggled the imagination. It culminated on Saturday night with a big street party in Courtenay Place, which we joined in for a bit before tottering back to bed. England won the rugby, by the way, if anyone cares.
The 6th of February is a public holiday to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, but the celebrations for this were slightly overshadowed by the Sevens. We went along to the concert in the park and watched the singing and dancing, plus the obligatory hakas performed by enthusiasts of all ages.
There was a week-long celebration of the Chinese New Year by the large Asian community. We went down on Sunday and attended an Asian market, as well as watching the parade with firecrackers and dragon, and enjoying the open-air entertainment afterwards. Altogether a big weekend in Wellington.
On Sunday we also packed up from the house in Wadestown where we had been for three months and moved into a flat in Kelburn. This is light and spacious, with good access and not far to walk to work. It’s probably the nicest place we’ve stayed in during our time here – pity we’re only here for two months.