Happy Chinese New Year!!!
If you’ve been searching for something amazing to do to welcome in the New Year oriental style then look no further, you HAVE to check out this stunning event. Hosted at Chiswick House and Gardens in London, the ‘Magical Lantern Festival’ was something I had been desperate to see for a while and it definitely did not disappoint.
A seemingly endless installation of incredible life size lanterns that illuminated a romantic trail around the gardens made the festival well worth the £15 we paid for entry. In homage to the New Year, the main piece was a giant depiction of the popular Chinese fable ‘The Monkey King’. Alongside this stood lanterns paying tribute to the other 11 animal zodiac signs with a cute fairytale-esque twist.
In Chinese astrology, each year in a period of 12 years is named after a zodiac animal sign along with one of the five elements (water, wood, fire, earth and gold) – this year is the year of the fire monkey. I was born in 1996, so I have the honour of being a Rat 🙁 If you want to find out your animal sign check out this website, it also tells you all sorts of strange things like your lucky numbers, colours and dates.
The scale and grandeur of the gardens provided the perfect ambience for the event, and even in the dark and drizzling rain, the architecture of some of the buildings was breathtaking! The highlights of the festival, in my opinion, had to be the 66 meter long dragon lantern, the recreation of Cinderella and the Terracotta army lantern.
Whilst the experience was great and I would recommend it to absolutely everyone, I would say to book your tickets on the day. The festival is on until the 28th February, so you still have plenty of time to enjoy it. However, we booked in advance, and on the day the weather was terrible so we didn’t get to experience the full set of lanterns or any of the food stalls that I had been looking forward to. If you’re interested in booking tickets, here’s the website for more information.
Despite the rain and the lack of food, I enjoyed every second. The creativity and originality of the whole festival really astounded me. No amount of pictures can really portray the beauty of these lanterns, they really do have to be seen to be believed!
If you plan on going I hope the weather is a lot dryer for you!! Let me know if you are celebrating Chinese New Year and what your animal zodiac sign is!