Where: Chiswick House Gardens, London W4 2QN
£: Tickets priced from £10.50
What is it?
London’s annual Magical Lantern Festival returns from 19th January to 26th February, transforming the historic Chiswick House Gardens into a fairytale world of light sculptures and Chinese art.
The restored 18th century gardens in West London will see its 65 acres packed with over 50 illuminated, brand new installations, celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Rooster.
This year’s theme will be The Silk Road, and installations will include a 15-metre illuminated sculpture of the Houses of Parliament, a full-size replica of the ship that Chinese Admiral Zheng used on his trade explorations, and an ambitious lantern adventure across the Silk Road, through Europe, Asia, Arabia, Egypt, Persia, India and ancient China.
The festival traditionally marks the end of Chinese New Year, when families and couples celebrate by carrying or making the delicate silk lanterns which symbolise new beginnings, letting go of old grudges, and good fortune.
This year’s Magical Lantern Festival will have a wonderful mix of old and new eastern traditions, including virtual reality head-sets which will allow visitors to imagine they are running with dinosaurs, or sitting on the world’s most daring roller coaster ride. There will also be a 30m ice rink, fairground rides, and Chinese bamboo lantern riddles for visitors to solve.
The festival theme for 2017 is the ancient Silk Route, which saw China trading its precious silk and commodities with a huge transcontinental network during the 206 BCE – 220 CE Han Dynasty. As well as ancient Egypt’s exotic pyramids, sphinx and camels; India, Persia and ancient Rome will also be up in lights, with a stunning re-imagining of The Colosseum, and a giant fire rooster proudly crowing in the end of winter.
As guests enjoy their cultural adventure, they can sample a range of international cuisine, hot tipples, and unique gifts to remember the experience.
More info: www.magicallantern.uk