For centuries, the Chinese have celebrated the start of their New Year in late January or early February by displaying multicolored lanterns in a range of shapes and sizes. Along with marking the pending arrival of spring, the custom also serves as a showcase of Chinese artistry.
Traditionally, lantern-makers crafted their works of art from bamboo and paper, but these days, Chinese artisans are creating modern-day versions out of metal, silk and energy-efficient LED lighting. Through Jan. 2, Ohioans can experience these works on the Ohio Expo Center grounds, thanks to Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival operations and logistics manager Huiyuan Liu and her team.
This year, RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is home to The Giant Lanterns of China, an installation of over 450 dazzling giant lanterns that will illuminate the Zoo for 50 awe-inspiring nights. There is 211 large scale animal-themed lanterns including 30 giant pandas, 12 lions, 30 native birds, 15 snails, 20 penguins and 25 flamingos alongside detailed backdrops of flowers, fauna, insects and Chinese heritage symbols such as signs of the zodiac and traditional archways. One of the highlights will be a 19-foot high and 115-foot long Chinese dragon, majestically guarding the Zoo until the event ends at during the Chinese Spring Festival.
Be wowed by Chinese performers, enjoy wintery hot food and drinks, and shop at the marketplace featuring hand-made crafts from Chinese artisans.
Walking through this lantern gateway really enhanced the journey and gave one a sense of awe.
Advanced online booking discounts are available. Tickets are priced from £17.50 per adult and available at edinburghzoo.org.uk/lanterns