Vibrantly decorated Chinese lanterns and illuminated sculptures lit Chiswick House and Gardens throughout January and February. Guests were able wander around the prestigious location and grab an eyeful of some immensely beautiful illuminations for over five weeks, and we were lucky enough to view the festivities. The festival marked the end of the Chinese New Year (January 28) - the year of the Rooster, symbolising new beginnings and good fortune. The theme for this year’s festival was ‘Explore The Silk Road’, where visitors could discover magnificent oversized lantern scenes, which represented and highlighted this significant route of trade and culture from Europe to Ancient China.
You probably haven’t spent much time thinking about the beauty of lanterns up until now, right? Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the amazing fusion of art, colour, heritage and culture. The first landmark on the trail was a 15 metre-wide lantern version of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. This sculpture was the perfect introduction to Europe being a part of the Silk Road, as the route is traced back from Europe to Ancient China. The trail takes you through the Roman Empire, Central Asia, Arabia, Persia, Egypt, India, the voyages of Admiral Zheng He, Tales of Aladdin and so much more!
As well as beautifully lit landmarks and landscapes, giant illuminated creatures and wildlife were also displayed on the trail. Pandas, camels and many more animals were on show throughout the festival, to our delight!
"Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the amazing fusion of art, colour, heritage and culture."
What's more, the festival also hosted an Eis Haus Ice Bar, which was (literally) the coolest place in London. A piece of the Alps was brought into the festival; using ten tons of purified crystal ice, a pop-up ice bar was created. With temperatures of around -5, visitors were given insulated coats and a complimentary alcoholic ice-glass shot to warm the body!
Although the festival has come to a close, trust us - you do not want to miss out on this wonderful cultural experience when it next comes to London. Not to mention the international range of food, a 30-metre synthetic ice-rink, 3D lantern photo opportunities, virtual reality gaming experience and a mini funfair…What more could you ask for?
To read more about this wonderfully enchanting festival, click here.