Tag Archives: Festival

Food and Culture

19 March ’13

The Festival of Cultures in Palmerston North has been getting bigger and more popular every year.    The “boys” and I headed in to the Square just before midday so we could sample the delicious foods and call it lunch.

The first culture we encountered was the Rosewood Morris dancers, the very same dancers we saw at the Medieval Market in Levin.  They’d roped in a bunch of onlookers and were trying to teach them some moves.

Festival of Cultures

Morris Dancers in the Square

We didn’t see any food on offer though.  I wonder what Morris dancers eat… Bangers and mash?  Yorkshire pud?

We moved on in search of edibles.  We found it in spades.  Cambodian pork fried bread, rice and beef stew from the Philippines,  sticky steamed buns filled with pork and relish.  Oh my gosh, international culinary heaven!

Festival of Cultures

Boys chowing down

A dish of rice, noodles and beans in a tasty red sauce from the Congo was served to us by a lovely lady in a fantastic headdress.

Festival of Cultures

A lady of the Congo

Now in search of drink to wash it all down with we shunned the overpriced cans of fizz and went for a delicious and refreshing cup of homemade lemonade. Perfect.

While that we’d been sampling these tasty treats all manner of people in costume and customary dress had been wandering about.  These girls in bright dresses Continue reading

Lantern Parade

16 March ’13

For the last few years the Palmerston Festival of Cultures has kicked off with a community Lantern Parade.  We went as a family a couple of years ago – I don’t know why we didn’t attend last year, we must have had something else on that weekend.

There are many different beliefs about the origin of lantern festivals, however, it is likely to have had something to do with celebrating and cultivating positive relationships between people, families, nature and the higher beings that were believed to be responsible for bringing or returning the light each year.

Billy (with a bit of persuasion – it’s hard to prize him away from a ‘screen’ sometimes)  came with me to check out this year’s parade.

It’s the Chinese Year of the Snake, so the parade was lead by a fabulous snake lantern named Gerald.  Not a very Chinese name, but I guess he is a Kiwi snake.

Lantern Parade

Gerald the Snake Lantern

Amongst the community lanterns that followed Gerald were the zodiac lanterns from the previous years.  I’d love to know where these fabulous paper creations Continue reading

Happy 100th!

 26 Feb ’13

In our quest to Live More Awesome (while we’re not trying to beat depression, this seems a good way to live one’s life) we’d found this event and decided to attend.  The lighthouse at Castlepoint has been a Beam of Bright Light for 100 years, protecting ships and sailors from the rugged coast. To celebrate this milestone the Centennial Committee organised a weekend of activities, including the chance to walk up the lighthouse.  Cool!

Castlepoint Lighthouse 100yrs

Saturday I’d baked up a storm so we’d have goodies to take for a picnic lunch on Sunday.

Courgette Tart and Sausage Pie

Picnic Goodies

The Courgette Tart was inspired by a recipe I’d read in the Herald, and by a glut of yellow and green courgettes in our garden.  The sausage pie was the very first thing I cooked at Manual (now called Technicraft) at school.  It’s a family favourite and really easy to make.

When we arrived the sun was shining and a light breeze was blowing.   I’ve never been to Castlepoint, or spent much time at all on the east coast of the Wairarapa. The coastline is very different from our side of the island.  The sand is golden, it is more rocky and a devilish  wind blows up from the South.  We decided to slog up the hill and join the queue to enter the lighthouse.

Castlepoint lighthouse centennial

Queueing at Castlepoint

After standing in the queue for about 20 minutes, a queue that didn’t seem to be moving despite a few people popping out on the lighthouse balcony above us, the Lovely Man went to see what was going on.  It turned out that only 36 people an hour were able to get through, and there were about 50 people ahead of us. We figured it just was not going to be worth standing there for and hour and half with bored and grumpy children, so we went exploring instead.

Wairarapa coast

Castlepoint Lighthouse

I love it.  No fences.  There’s a handrail for people climbing up the path to the lighthouse and the lookout, well built stairs and rails down the other side.  But after that there are no restrictions.  No PC, wrap-us-up-in-cotton-wool-we’re-too-stupid-to-not-fall-off-the-side nonsense.  How very refreshing.  So we explored, climbed over rocks, discovered fossils and watched the seagulls and terns soaring up the steep cliffs from the Pacific Ocean below. Continue reading

Beware – Men in Tights!

14 Feb ’13

I was reading an article in the Herald earlier in the week about living ones life to the fullest – taking opportunities as they arise and making adventures.  A suggestion was to always wonder if what you’re doing is worth photographing.  I like this idea.  Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve found that I have been actively seeking activities that will make interesting photographs.  The offshoot of this has been that we’ve taken the kids to many local events that we’d possibly not have bothered with otherwise.  I hope that we’re making good memories for them.

We’d noticed the advertising for the annual Medieval Market held in Levin when we traveled down to Wellington a few weeks back.  As we were going to be heading down to the capital again to farewell my brother and his partner, leaving on a new Aussie adventure, we decided we’d stop in at the Market on the way south.

Medieval Market, Levin

Medieval Market, Levin

I didn’t actually see any men in tights – but there were plenty of men in helmets, chain mail and robes.  Not to mention Friar Tuck, the Cat in the Hat (I hadn’t realised he was Medieval) and Morris dancers.  Lots of  women too, some in flowery hats and others in warriors costumes.

Pillow Jousting!  Now that sounded like fun.  Billy could not be convinced to give it a go.  Once assured that it  would hold them up, Jake and his Dad climbed on to the pole and proceeded to beat each other with half-stuffed pillows.

Levin Medieval Market

Pillow Jousting

The horrible white sky doesn’t do much for this shot, photographically speaking. But I love the energy, fun and determination that are captured here.  One for the family album, me thinks. Oh, and note the little unicorn who was giving rides, he’s snuck in to the corner of the shot. Continue reading

Week40 (Part2) – RWC Georgia vs Argentina

1-7 Oct ’11

The second Rugby World Cup game to be held in Palmerston North.  Sunday morning we headed in to town, complete with face paint and tee-shirts.  No need for the woolly hats this time, the weather was balmy and the promised rain held off.

Party Town 

This time I decided I give the zoom lens a chance to redeem itself.  Figuring that I already had Saturday’s shots to blog, and last weeks game photos, if the zoom didn’t work at all it wouldn’t be a huge loss.

Palmy has really got behind the teams who were assigned games in our city.  The council had arranged a culture and music festival in the Square to get everyone in the mood before Sunday afternoon’s game.  With a picnic lunch on board we headed in to town to see what was happening.

The Argentine team has a big following, and a whole lot of genuine Argentinians arrived in town to support their boys.

Palmerston North Rugby World Cup

Argentinians in the Square

F-Stop                f/10
Exposure time   1/320sec
ISO Speed         ISO-200
Focal length       86mm

We were entertained by some murderous clownettes.  (Don’t tell anyone, but I know who dunnit.)

Palmerston North Street theatre

Manawatu Dreaming - Street threatre project

F-Stop                 f/10
Exposure time    1/320sec
ISO-Speed          ISO-200
Focal length       70mm

Again we walked to the venue through the streets, along with almost Continue reading

Week13 – Festival of Cultures

26th March – 1st April ’11

I’ve cheated a teeny bit this week.  The first part of the blog is about an event that took place on Friday – so technically it’s part of last week. But Week12 already has two parts, making a third seemed a little over the top.  And the Lantern Parade really needs to be in the same post as the Fair, they’re both part of the Festival of Cultures.

All of the shots in this post were taken with my nifty-fifty. To avoid endless repitition I haven’t included focal length in the EXIF of the following photos.

To see all my shots from the Parade and the Festival, please go to Valley Photography

Community Cultural Lantern Parade

Friday evening turned out to be a perfect for the Parade.  The forecast rain held off, it was mild and there was no wind.  Hundreds of people gathered around the clock tower to enjoy the show.

The Clock Tower - Palmerston North Square

Aperture    f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160
ISO Speed         ISO400

While I like the composition of the shot, I’m not too happy with the technical aspects.  The clock face and tower are sharp, but the statue is rather soft.  I guess this is due to a combination of wide aperture/narrow DOF and the low light.  Lesson learned.

The Parade around the Square was lead by the Rabbit (it being the Year of the Rabbit, according to the Chinese calendar)The Tiger from last year followed, and then the lanterns made at various workshops by members of the community.

Rabbit Lantern - accompanied by Carrot Lantern

Aperture              f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160
ISO Speed           ISO400

Tiger Lantern - 2010 Year of the Tiger

Aperture               f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160
ISO Speed           ISO400

Bunny Lantern

Aperture         f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160sec
ISO Speed      ISO400

Community Lanterns

Aperture               f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160sec
ISO Speed           ISO400

The Parade was joined by the Massey University Fire Club.  This is a group of Massey students who get together once a week to practice fire spinning, breathing and eating.  They wowed the crowed with their tricks. Continue reading