A West London neo-Palladian villa is not a typical setting for a Chinese lantern festival, but it turns out to be a perfect match. To welcome in the Lunar New Year, the venue is currently playing host to the Magical Lantern Festival, the capital’s first first and only Chinese lantern festival.
Running from 24 November – 1 January 2017, the Magical Lantern Festival sees over 50 hand-crafted lanterns spread out across the gardens of Chiswick House, creating a spectacular vision of colour and light. The lanterns represent the traditions and culture of both the UK and China in true East meets West style. Lantern depictions of red telephone boxes and a life-sized double-decker bus sit alongside characters of the Chinese zodiac and the Terracotta Army. The centerpiece of the impressive display is a huge 66 metre-long dragon.
A Truly Magical Lantern Festival
We were thoroughly impressed by this event. Clearly a lot of effort had gone into the creation of each individual piece and into the organisation of the event itself. We were lucky enough to be invited to the grand switch-on in 2015 and were left speechless when all the lanterns came on in unison. As well as the lanterns themselves, the trees in the gardens have also been illuminated, creating a truly magical experience. Guides were on hand to help us around the extensive route that organisers estimate takes 75 minutes to navigate.
Jade and I on CCTV (Chinese Television)
While we were walking around the gardens, Jade and I were asked by a reporter for Chinese Central Television (CCTV) (now known as CGTN) what were thought of the event. We were only too pleased to deliver some media friendly voxpops for CCTV’s global audience. If you fancy watching us, we’re 1 minute and 16 seconds in on the video embedded above.
Photos from the Magical Lantern Festival in London
As you can imagine, with such beautiful scenes all around us, we took a ridiculous number of photos. So many in fact, it’s been hard choosing photos to feature in this post. So, here’s a small sample of what you can see in the gardens of Chiswick House.
More Information & Tickets
The event runs from 24 November – 1 January 2017. Tickets for adults are £18.50 on the door or £16.50 if bought in advance. There are discounts for children, families and concessions.
You can find out full details about the event and buy tickets at the Magical Lantern Festival website.