For years, we have wanted to see the Festival of Light at Longleat Safari Park, but it was just too expensive for us as a family. So, you can imagine our excitement when a fellow home educating parent organised a Home Ed “Educational Group” trip to the festival, allowing us all to take advantage of hugely reduced ticket prices.
We arrived an hour before dark and headed to the circus tent to watch the Chinese circus show. When, the show ended we stepped outside and into a wonderland of colour and light. It was more beautiful than we could ever had imagined and we learnt so much about the culture and history of china through each of the lanterns.
We took so many photographs. Here are just a few for you to enjoy!
Over a hundred people worked to bring the display into creation. The workers came from Sichuan Provinces’s Zigong City, one of the most well-known areas where lantern making has a renowned long and colourful history. The Dragon is one of the most important symbols in Chinese culture. It symbolises power, nobility, honour, good luck and success. This Dragon lantern was over 100 metres long!
All the lanterns were hand painted. The display was made up of 23,000 individual lanterns, amongst them were some of the animals we had seen on our trip through the safari park in the summer.
The intricate displays were hand made using 76 tonnes of metal framework and 18km of delicate hand-cut silks.
These beautiful Hibiscus flower lanterns emulate the flower which changes colour throughout the day. It starts off white or pink in the morning and by midday, turns deep red. The Hibiscus flower is thought to bring good luck!
Oh, these pandas were so adorable. A panda’s diet is made up of 99% bamboo and they come from the same province as the lantern makers. In China, the panda is thought to be the physical embodiment of Yin and Yang.
This Dragon boat represented a Chinese emperor travelling on one of China’s great rivers. It was absolutely stunning. We found out that in China, Dragons are associated with water rather than fire and are greatly respected by farmers who depended on the rain fall.
And, here I am with our son and one of his best friends standing in front of the “Singing Christmas Tree”. I managed to embarrass them both quite a few times by dancing to the some of the songs!
Have you and your family done any special Christmas trips or events this year or maybe, you have been to the LongLeat Festival of Lantern a previous year? We would love to hear what you have been up to.