The Korean Positive Ageing Charitable Trust has held a traditional Korean lantern workshop as part of Howick 175 celebrations.
The underlying purpose of the workshop last month, named Cheongsachorong, was to showcase how these lanterns are made and how they can be useful for any occasion that celebrates special milestones, events, and memories.
More than 40 people, including members of the Howick 175 anniversary committee and Howick Local Board member Adele White, attended the workshop at the Howick Historical Village where it was held on February 24.
White says the warmth and friendliness of the Korean volunteers made the event a lot of fun.
“I really enjoyed this event… participating in arts and craft is a wonderful way to learn about and celebrate the culture of other ethnicities,” she says.
In Korean culture, when Cheongsachorong (a blue and red lantern) is hung on a streetlamp today, it usually indicates the opening of a traditional festival or important event.
Blue and red lanterns are commonly associated with traditional weddings in Korea.
The use of blue and red lanterns in weddings dates back to the late Joseon Dynasty.
The silk used in the lanterns represents the harmony between the bride and groom’s families, with red symbolising yang (positive energy) and blue symbolising yin (negative energy).
In Korea, it is believed that the universe is composed of a harmonious balance of yin and yang, and the blue and red colors in the lanterns represent this balance.
Lighting the lanterns during a wedding ceremony symbolises a harmonious new beginning for the couple.
Event organiser, YongRahn Park says the event was a great success.
“Through this Cheongsachorong workshop, more Kiwis learn about Korean culture and I’m hoping to see Cheongsachorong hanging in the local events,” she says.
Park has been active in New Zealand’s Korean community for more than 10 years and has worked on promoting Korean culture to the wider community and assisting Korean families to settle and integrate.
She was one of two east Auckland women to have been recognised in the 2023 New Year Honours.
Park established the Korean Positive Aging Charitable Trust KPACT in 2012 which represents the Korean community, especially seniors, in engaging with government agencies and welfare organisations.
“I would like to thank Howick Historical Village for allowing us to use this beautiful venue for our workshop. This premise has significant historical value, and sharing Korean culture in such a meaningful place is an honour,” says Park.
“We must recognise all the activities we are doing today, including our participation. It is a part and parcel of the overall celebration of Howick’s 175-year historical existence, which is a significant milestone for us,” she says.
The workshop was funded and supported by the Arts Out East initiative.