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.