Warminster, UK: In Britain, Europe’s largest display of giant Chinese illuminations is taking place this winter season at Longleat.
Around 7,000 individual lanterns, 15km of silk and a dazzling 40km of LED lights are used to create a series of stunning tableaux for the Festival of Light in Wiltshire.
The outstanding part of this event is a 70m long dragon made from 23,000 lit porcelain cups, bowls, and plates. Mythical creatures ‘qilin’, which are each made from over 65,000 glass phials filled with coloured liquid, will also drag visitors attraction.
This event also features, 20m tall Chinese temple displayed outside, huge traditional Chinese masks, a family of life-size pandas in a bamboo forest, giant elephants and other animals including zebras, lions and deer.
It took 30 tonnes of steel to build the frames for the illuminated structures. A team of 100 craftsmen from the village of Zigong in China’s Sichuan province have spent six months creating the structures which will remain at Longleat throughout the festival that runs until the New Year.
This 2,000 years old tradition of celebrating lantern festivals in China puts Zigong in the epicenter due to its spiritual home, clever concepts and ground-breaking designs. Bob Montgomery, Longleat’s chief executive, said: “The Festival of Light is something truly unique. “We are taking the age-old tradition of the Chinese lantern and completely transforming it for a modern audience using giant LED illuminated structures. “There will be around 20 different scenes to explore within 30 acres featuring literally thousands of individual illuminations, created from a mixture of silk, satin and vinyl covering fixed frames, and the sheer scale and intricacy of the designs is breath-taking. “We’ve spent close to six months working with a team of experts from Zigong to make this a reality. “Nothing like it has been attempted on this scale before in the UK – it’s about as far away from those familiar lightweight flying lanterns as it’s possible to get.
“These are fixed, larger-than-life illuminated tableaux which people can wander through,” he added.
The Festival of Light opens at Longleat Safari and Adventure Park on November 14th and runs until January 4th.
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