“To attract good fortune, spend a new coin on an old friend, share an old pleasure with a new friend, and lift up the heart of a true friend by writing his name on the wings of a dragon. “- Chinese Proverb

I had the very good fortune to live out this proverb this week! I was delighted to get a sneak peek of the Chinese Lantern Festival installation at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden . After an afternoon of total downpours, the rain finally subsided giving us a stunning sunset and glorious evening  to view these amazing works of art in the garden. While I was expecting some over-scaled lanterns (which I love) scattered throughout the beautiful garden, I was awestruck by the amazing creations that greeted us. Made of silk, paper and glass, each handmade work came to life as the sky turned from dusk to nightfall. Special thanks to our gracious hosts for such a special evening!


We may call these “lanterns,” but make no mistake – these are not hand-held, candle-lit lamps. From humble beginnings of silk and paper, the Chinese lantern has evolved into the wondrous shapes and sizes of the Chinese Lantern Festival. Enter “The Wild,” a world of life-size (sometimes larger than life) illuminated panda bears, lions, flamingos and more fauna from the world’s seven continents. Each of the lanterns is made by masters of the craft in Zigong, China’s center of lantern heritage. Others are made of small glass medicine bottles filled with colored liquid. Arranged in the shape of dragons, peacocks, and giant pearls, they glimmer like crystal rainbows. It’s Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s largest exhibition to date and over 800 handmade lanterns will fill more than 12 acres.

Living arts further enhance the Chinese Lantern Festival. Guests will marvel at Kung Fu shows followed by coaching by master Martial Arts Champions, enjoy authentic Shadow Plays, and browse the marketplace that features authentic Chinese folk art and crafts handmade onsite. All this surrounded by the lush Garden featuring an all-new Asian-inspired display that was installed this spring and will be in place throughout the year. Japanese maples, bamboo, grasses, iris, ferns and more are pulled together to develop the display that also features other traditional Asian elements such as rock and raked sand.

Click HERE to purchase tickets. The exhibition is open Wednesdays- Saturdays from 5:30-9:30 through October 29th.

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