Chinese Lantern Festival is like Alice in (a Chinese) Wonderland

By Dora Blaskievich

September 16, 2017

The Chinese Lantern Festival at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is a magical experience that revs up the imagination and wonder. At the entrance of the main building, a fiery Phoenix greets you with flaming colors. After introductions and a speech by the president of the festival, George Zhao, we were treated to a Dragon Dance performed by The Peaceful Dragon. Powerful drum beats pulsed as the colorful dragon made its way around the room and enchanted the audience. Afterwards we went out into the garden to explore the gorgeous lanterns. It was still daytime, and while the lanterns were lit, the full effect wasn’t yet visible.

A stage was set up for a Kung Fu show; to see Kung Fu experts perform acrobatic moves was a real delight. After the show was over, it was finally dark and the brilliant, vibrant colors could be seen in full splendor. We enjoyed walking through the wild animal displays, standing next to flowers that were almost as tall as me, and feeling like a little kid in a magical world.

Here are a few reasons why you should check it out:

The Kung Fu show. Everyone knows Kung Fu, but you’ve never seen it performed with such beautiful artistry. See if you can pick out the Tiger moves, and recognize the music to a particular Kung Fu aficionado Panda movie.

Enjoy the Shadow Play show. It’ll be fun for the little ones to see a sneaky turtle go after a crane, while listening to traditional music. While no words are spoken, the action is easy to appreciate and follow.

Appreciate the Japanese maples, bamboo, grasses, iris, and ferns. If you’ve been to Daniel Stowe before, you know the foliage is constantly changing, and it was interesting to see the garden get a new look.

To feel like Alice In (a Chinese) Wonderland. Enter a world filled with bright, sparkling color, from enormous jellyfish, to fancy pink flamingos, to giant water birds. Everything is lit up and VERY colorful. The garden is transformed into a Chinese wonder. Red lanterns adorn the walkways to the main displays, welcoming you to a glorious display.

It’s not in Uptown. Enjoy the beautiful garden and nature without the parking hassle.

The Chinese Lantern Festival runs through October 29, 2017.

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